MARIO CUOMO'S ENVIRONMENTAL LEGACY: Statement by Ned Sullivan

Friday, January 2, 2015 -- Scenic Hudson
Contact: 

Jay Burgess
Director of Communications, Scenic Hudson, Inc.
Tel: (845) 473-4440 x222 Cell: (914) 489-0362 Fax: (845) 473-0740
jburgess@scenichudson.org

Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan offered condolences to Governor Andrew Cuomo and his family at this sad time of the passing of his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo.

Governor Mario Cuomo was a highly respected statesman with integrity and vision who inspired the people of the state and the nation with his progressive policies and eloquence.

Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan served in Gov. Mario Cuomo’s administration as a deputy commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. Speaking of the governor’s “green” legacy, he said, “Governor Mario Cuomo produced strong and lasting environmental impacts that have provided New Yorkers with cleaner water and air, spectacular parks and natural areas, and a healthier Hudson River with revitalized communities along its shores. I’m proud to have been part of his team and remain inspired by his leadership and commitment to service.” Mr. Sullivan served under DEC Commissioners Thomas Jorling and Langdon Marsh.

Mr. Sullivan offered specific examples of Gov. Cuomo’s environmental legacy. “He gained passage of a bond act that launched a $1-billion hazardous waste cleanup program to address over 1,000 sites statewide and brought professionalism and action to problems uncovered at Love Canal. The bond act also included $200 million for land acquisition and historic preservation, leading to important preservation successes in the Adirondacks and throughout the state.

“The cleanup of General Electric’s toxic PCB contamination in the Hudson began under Governor Cuomo. GE had previously persuaded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt a ‘no action’ approach, but Governor Cuomo petitioned the EPA to reopen this decision, laying the groundwork for the eventual EPA order to clean up the river.”

Mr. Sullivan added, “Governor Cuomo instigated the Environmental Protection Fund, which has provided billions of dollars for land conservation, wastewater treatment infrastructure, creation of new parks and waterfront revitalization. He also signed legislation creating the New York State Revolving Fund for water and wastewater infrastructure, providing billions of dollars in low interest loans for critical infrastructure.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo has carried forward his father’s legacy of progressive environment policies with his recent decision to ban fracking in New York, through his commitment to reducing the causes of global climate change through energy conservation and efficiency and by implementing adaptive strategies to global warming.

Sullivan said, “Mario Cuomo will be missed, but his legacy lives on.”

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