Report: Cutbacks lead to less enforcement of pollution violations

Report: Cutbacks lead to less enforcement of pollution violations

An environmental group says New York has reduced pollution inspections by more than one-third over the past three years following large staffing cuts.

Environmental Advocates of New York in a report Thursday says state enforcement actions against polluters have dropped almost 25 percent from 2009 to 2012 under federal laws to protect air quality and waterways.

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has federal permit and enforcement authority over 33,000 factories, power generators, sewage treatment plants and other emission sources.

The report, based on state data, shows the DEC’s Divisions of Air and Water Quality Management has lost 235 positions since 2007 or about 28 percent of its staff.

The DEC did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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