Beveridge & Diamond
Related Practices
Related Practices

Henry Diamond Featured in NYDEC's 40-Year Look Back

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., June 9, 2010

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the creation of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).  The DEC was created on July 1, 1970, combining all resource management and antipollution programs into the nation's first environmental department.  Henry Diamond became New York State's first Commissioner of Environmental Conservation in 1970, when the new agency was created.  As the agency's first Commissioner, Mr. Diamond joined the state's land conservation, fishing and hunting programs together with programs to address solid waste, water and air pollution.  The combination was the first of its kind in the nation, and proved to be a model for many other states. 

Mr. Diamond was also instrumental in developing the Environmental Quality Bond Act of 1972 and securing its passage by the state legislature and approval by the voters.  To promote passage of the Bond Act, he undertook a 533-mile bike ride across the state.  The Act ultimately passed by a margin of 2 to 1 and provided needed funds for land acquisition, solid waste management aid, sewage treatment, air pollution control and resource recovery.

In celebration of its 40th year, DEC's publication, the Conservationist, is taking a look back at the achievements of the environmental movement over the past four decades.  In the June 2010 issue, Henry Diamond is pictured on the cover of the publication, and inside are excerpts from a 1970 interview with then-Commissioner Diamond, when the Conservationist sat down with him to get his thoughts on the future of the department, and the environmental challenges ahead.

To read the interview (and to see pictures of a young Commissioner Diamond), please click here.  For more information about DEC, please visit their website at