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EPA Grants $500,000 To New York State For Technology Initiative

Release Date: 10/08/1998
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(#98147) New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a major grant of $500,000 to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to enhance its technology systems to more easily access and track the environmental information it compiles.

With the EPA grant, DEC will upgrade its computer systems to enable employees to access the full range of a company's environmental history -- from its compliance with water and air regulations to releases of toxic substances and other information -- at the touch of a button. The Department also plans to link its Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to data gathered on the companies and facilities it regulates. The GIS link, an important new tool in determining environmental risk, will enable DEC employees to view information about a facility and determine its exact location in the surrounding area or neighborhood. After these upgrades are made, DEC hopes to offer businesses and the public increased access to useful environmental information. These and other improvements will be introduced by DEC over the next three years.

"Our goal of streamlining government so that it works better, costs less and is user-friendly is being realized in the state of New York," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "The grant will allow New York State DEC to continue to consolidate and better manage its vast amount of environmental information while saving time and cutting down on paperwork. This will be a benefit not only to the Department, but to concerned citizens, and companies that do business with DEC."

DEC Commissioner John P. Cahill said, "New York State is working hard to modernize DEC's equipment and methods in order to allow us to work more efficiently and better serve the public.

It is gratifying that the federal government is providing financial support for this important initiative. The grant will build upon DEC's ongoing efforts to use modern technology to cut costs and provide greater environmental protection."

The $500,000 award is an EPA "One Stop" grant, part of the larger Common Sense Initiative launched by EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner in 1993. Since 1996, EPA has awarded a total of $10.5 million to 21 states to help modernize data systems through the One Stop program.

For more information contact:
Nina Habib Spencer, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3670 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: