State task force seeks extension from Cuomo

Legislation has been sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature to extend authorization for the state’s Ocean Acidification Task Force.

This bill would extend, from 2019 to 2023, the authorization for the 14-member Ocean Acidification Task Force within the Department of Environmental Conservation to identify the causes and factors contributing to ocean acidification and evaluating ways of addressing the problem by applying the best available science. In addition to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of State, and the Office of General Services, the Task Force would include at-large members who would have expertise in one or more of the following areas: climatology; hydrology; economics; marine fisheries; aquaculture; oceanography; or ecology.

“The task force has only recently begun its work,” Brooks wrote in his legislative justification. “This bill will extend the task force’s timeframe to complete its important work while ensuring accountability by requiring an interim annual report.”

Sponsored by Sen. Phil Breslin, D-Massapequa, the legislation also requires the task force to prepare an interim report no later than Dec. 31, 2021, and to hold at least one hearing on its interim report.

The legislation pased the Senate 61-0 in February and passed the state Assembly 135-7, in early May with no floor debate. Both Assemblymen Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, voted in favor of the bill.

John Whittaker, The Post-Journal, 24 October 2019. Article.

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