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Spitzer Picks New DEC Head

January 25th, 2007 · No Comments · News

With all the jockeying going on for Hevesi’s empty office, I’d say not enough attention is being paid to some other key New York State positions. Today Gov. Spitzer announced his choice for Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation – fellow Manhattan Democrat, Assemblyman Alexander “Pete” Grannis. Grannis just recently interviewed for Hevesi’s old spot, but I guess it’s better to take a sure thing. This is a really important job, I really hope this isn’t a buddy appointment. The full release after the jump.


Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David Paterson today
announced nominations for two key senior administration positions.

Alexander B. “Pete” Grannis is being nominated to serve as Commissioner of
the Department of Environmental Conservation. Mr. Grannis was first elected
to the Assembly in 1974 and represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan and
Roosevelt Island. He currently serves as legislator, serving as Chair of
the Assembly Insurance Committee and as a member of the Assembly Ways and
Means Committee.

Mr. Grannis has championed environmental issues throughout his tenure in
the legislature. He was a leader in fighting for the passage of SEQRA, the
original bottle bill, and the clean-up and revitalization of the state’s
brownfields. Mr. Grannis has also played a key role in the enactment of a
wide range of environmental legislation, including measures related to acid
rain, clean air and water, fluorocarbons and recycling. He chaired the
Assembly’s first Subcommittee on Toxic Wastes, sponsored legislation
ensuring a worker’s right to know about hazardous materials in the work
place and has worked to regulate the transport, storage and disposal of
toxic wastes. Mr. Grannis authored the state’s rapid transit noise code and
has been at the forefront of the fight to have the MTA convert its
polluting diesel bus fleet to clean fuels.

A nationally recognized leader in the fight to curb the health hazards
posed by smoking, Mr. Grannis authored New York’s 1989 Clean Indoor Air Act
(CIAA) and amendments adopted in 2003 to protect all working men and women
from deadly secondhand smoke. His legislative efforts to curb smoking,
including the historic CIAA and the Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act
have received global recongnition. Mr. Grannis’s work has been hailed by
numerous public health organizations including the American Cancer Society
and the New York State Association of County Health Officials.

Mr. Grannis is a three-time winner of the Legislator of the Year award from
the Environmental Planning Lobby and was accorded similar honors by the
Audubon Society, the Environmental Action Coalition and Environmental
Advocates. He also received the American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals Public Service Award in recognition of his efforts in
promoting the humane treatment of animals.

Mr. Grannis lives with his family in New York City. He is a graduate of
Rutgers University and the University of Virginia Law School. Prior to
entering the Assembly, Mr. Grannis practiced law in New York City and
served as Compliance Counsel for the New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation.

Judith Enck will be appointed as Deputy Secretary for the Environment. For
the past eight years, Ms. Enck has served as a policy advisor to Attorney
General Eliot Spitzer. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, she
was a Senior Environmental Associate with the New York Public Interest
Research Group (NYPIRG). She has also served as the Executive Director of
the Environmental Advocates of New York, a non-profit government watchdog
organization dedicated to enforcing laws that protect natural resources and
safeguards public health. Ms. Enck received her B.A. from the College of
St. Rose.

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