Focus on an Environmental Management Council



Focus on an Environmental Management Council

Per Article 47 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, Environmental Management Councils (EMCs), representing one county, and Regional Environmental Management Councils (2 or more counties agreeing to unite their EMCs into one EMC), can be created to provide assistance to their county on natural environmental matters. They may consist of volunteers and/or staff. Excluding New York City, NYS has 57 counties of which 17 are known to have active EMCs. The number of EMCs has steadily been decreasing from a high in 1993, the year NYS eliminated direct funding of EMCs.. NYSACC’s sister organization, the New York State Association of Environmental Management Councils, (NYSACEMC – pronounced ny-sem) recently has become inactive. Counties in NYS play a critical role in regional planning and EMCs have helped in this process, bringing together their CACs for periodic meetings, and reaching out to the public on countywide issues. To assist the remaining EMCs, and work towards creating new ones, NYSACC is adding a “Focus on an EMC” in its NYSACC NEWS, and will construct a place for EMCs to exchange information on NYSACC’s website (NYSACC | New York State Association of Conservation Commissions).

Our first focus will be on Tompkins County EMC (Environmental Management Council | Tompkins County NY). The Tompkins County EMC was one of the first EMCs in the state, established by Resolution No. 103 of the Tompkins County Board of Representatives in 1971 (see its bylaws: BYLAWS ( and restructuring legislation enacted in 1999: 20110607115029162.pdf ( The EMC was added to the County’s Charter in 2003.

Below is Tompkins County EMC’s 2020 annual report. If you want your county’s EMC to be featured in NYSACC News, please contact our office manager (

About Simon Skolnik

Simon Skolnik is the President of NYSACC and Chair of the Town of Bedford Conservation Board. A trained civil engineer, Mr. Skolnik devoted his career to the management of public and private sector construction projects. He was first appointed to the Bedford Conservation Board in 1985 and became Chair in 1995. He joined the NYSACC Board of Directors in 1989, was elected Vice President in 1995, and elected President in 2019.

Besides their historic role in the protection of open space, Mr. Skolnik views Conservation Advisory Commissions and Boards as among the most vital and important institutions in combating climate change locally and mitigating its effects on the natural and built environments.

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