News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz

Hinchey secures committee approval of $500,000 to modernize environmental studies laboratories

Funds still need full House and Senate approval to become law

Congressman Maurice Hinchey ('68, '70g) recently announced he has included $500,000 in the Energy and Water bill mark-up from the House Appropriations Committee to pay for the modernization and development of environmental laboratories at SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Ulster. The funds are part of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2006. The measure still needs full House approval and needs to go through several other legislative steps before it becomes law.

If approved, the two schools will use the funds to offer a full range of environmental educational and training opportunities that address biological, geological and chemical water issues and problems, including growing concerns about bioterrorism threats to the region's water supply.

"I am very pleased to obtain these federal funds, which will enable SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Ulster to further their role as leaders in environmental protection and safety in the Hudson Valley region," Hinchey said. "This project is a wonderful example of two local schools working together to improve our area."

The purpose of the lab is both educational and functional. Elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate students will use the facilities to study hydrology and other environmentally relevant coursework. It will serve as an enhancement to existing curriculum. Faculty at the colleges will also serve as consultants for local municipalities, community organizations and the New York City Department of Environmental Conservation with a focus on water quality issues and bioterrorism.

The lab will also serve as a clearinghouse for data collected from throughout the region and help municipal leaders understand the implications of development proposals, accessibility to potable water and other environmental factors that are relevant to daily life in the Hudson Valley.

"I am extremely grateful to our alumnus, Congressman Maurice Hinchey, for his successful advocacy on behalf of SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Ulster that has resulted in the inclusion of this joint Hudson River and Catskill Watershed environmental project funding request in the Energy and Water bill," said Steven Poskanzer, president of SUNY New Paltz.

MAY 23, 2005
Volume 3, Issue 10

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