Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Statement from Acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos on Passing of Former Commissioner Henry Diamond

"The Department of Environmental Conservation is deeply saddened by the passing of our first commissioner Henry L. Diamond, who served the state with great distinction from 1970 to 1973.

"Appointed by Governor Nelson Rockefeller as the agency's first commissioner on the first Earth Day, Henry was a pioneer and steadfast champion for the environment during a period when government agencies were slow to recognize the need to combat air and water pollution.

"In his capacity at the DEC, he combined all New York State resource management and anti-pollution programs into the nation's first environmental department. Henry was at the forefront of creating programs to deal with mercury pollution and solid waste management, initiatives which later became models for many other states.

"For more than 60 years he devoted his life to public service and protecting our natural resources with a focus on leading by example. It's clear that New Yorkers and the environment are better off because of his efforts, and when the history of New York State environmentalism is written, the name Henry Diamond should be at the forefront.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Henry's wife Betty and the Diamond family."

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