Comptroller: NY environmental staffing drops

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli speaks during a news conference on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A report from the state comptroller’s office says staffing levels at the Department of Environmental Conservation have dropped since 2003 while the agency’s responsibilities have grown.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Wednesday that DEC spending was $795.3 million in the 2003-04 fiscal year and $1 billion in 2013-14, an increase of 1.7 percent after inflation.

DiNapoli says the state budget office projects that total DEC spending will decline in each of the next three years.

The size of the DEC workforce declined 10.4 percent, from 3,256 full-time staff in 2003-04 to 2,917 today.

The report notes that in excess of half a billion dollars has been shifted from two major environmental funds to provide general state budget relief.

The agency had no immediate comment.

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