Department of Environmental Conservation

Environmental Protection Fund

Each year, the State Legislature appropriates certain amounts from the Environmental Protection Fund for various environmental programs. The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for ensuring that the appropriated amounts are correctly transferred from the Fund to the agencies that are responsible for those programs. We examined whether these transfers were made in accordance with legislative instructions, and found that they were. We also examined whether the transfers were completed in a timely manner, and found that certain improvements were needed, as appropriated amounts sometimes remained in the Fund for several months, and even years, before they were transferred, because of delays on the part of the responsible agencies in requesting the funds.

The Department receives annual allocations from the Fund for certain of its environmental programs. It uses these allocations to award grants to localities and not-for-profit entities for environmental projects, and to fund such projects itself. We examined whether the Department was using its allocations for the purposes intended by the Legislature, and found that it generally was. We also examined whether the Departmentís grant and non-grant projects were funded in a timely manner, and identified long delays in the funding process. We recommended that the Department expedite the funding process. We also recommended that the Department more effectively monitor its grant recipients to ensure that they used their funding for the purposes specified in their grant contracts and completed their projects as expected.

For a complete copy of Report 2008-S-121 click here.