The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, established in 1970, unites the natural resource protection functions of the former Conservation Department and the environmental quality tasks formerly performed by the Department of Health. Since it was formed, the DEC’s activities have multiplied as new laws and programs were developed to solve emerging environmental problems. As a result, New York State residents of today enjoy the benefits of cleaner air and water, thriving wildlife and forests, accessible recreation, and farsighted waste management policies.
New York was one of a number of states facing acute problems of pollution of its rivers and of the Great Lakes. Also pressing, particularly for the urban area around New York City, was the need to preserve land and water for recreational purposes and scenic enjoyment in the face of demands by an ever-growing population for more housing and commercial structures. To this end New York uses modern techniques to manage fish and wildlife resources and state lands. It uses permits to control pollution of air and water, transport and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes, pesticide use, mining, and mined-land reclamation. Environmental remediation programs provide help to local governments in construction of wastewater treatment plants as well as overseeing the cleanup of inactive hazardous waste disposal sites. "New York" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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