The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was established in 1970 on the first-ever Earth Day.
In the 50 years since, New Yorkers have seen a revolution in the way we interact with our environment. The Clean Air Act was passed in 1970; in 1971 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was established, followed by the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. The Adirondack Park Agency Act was passed in 1971, and the State’s Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) in 1980, the same year as the Superfund Law. In 1993 the Environmental Protection Fund was established.