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April 21, 2013

DEC announces '13 Earth Day activities

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will commemorate the 43rd-anniversary of Earth Day with DEC-sponsored events around the state from April 19 through May 4.

The earth-friendly activities include tree plantings, pharmaceutical collection events, litter clean up, and a variety of exhibits to educate New Yorkers on the importance of sustaining the environment, a press release states.

“Earth Day continues to be a global movement to raise the consciousness of individuals, families, communities, businesses and government about how to co-exist with the environment in a sustainable manner,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in the release.

“Every New Yorker has a role to play in ensuring future generations are able to enjoy the state’s natural resources and benefit from a clean environment. I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in some of the events to learn more about the state’s natural resources and practices we can make part of our daily lives to protect the environment.”

In addition to hosting the events below, next week DEC Conservation Officers will conduct road checks of heavy duty diesel trucks to ensure they comply with emissions standards. The road checks will focus on environmental justice areas in cities across the state. Locations and times will be announced.

Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson in 1970 after he toured the devastation of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. On April 22, 1970, demonstrations by an estimated 20 million Americans advocated for a healthy, sustainable environment.

In the same year as the first Earth Day, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (July) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (December) were created and the Clean Air Act was enacted, providing the authority for federal and state governments to limit emissions.

In 1972, sweeping amendments were made to the federal Water Pollution Control Act, which was the predecessor to the Clean Water Act.

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