Boards & Committees

Local Law No. 19 of 1996 established the Division of Environmental Resources (DER), within Rockland County government and serves as the "core" environmental department responsible for informing the County Executive and the County Legislature on all environmental issues. These include but are not limited to, state and federal initiatives, new programs, funding sources, concerns of residents and environmental problems within the county.

Several environmental boards and committees comprise the DER including the Rockland County Soil & Water Conservation District, Environmental Management Council, Water Quality Coordinating Committee, Parks Commission and Agriculture & Farmland Protection Board. These five umbrella organizations have varied missions and visions however, they all focus on improving environmental conditions in Rockland County. A brief overview of each board is listed below. Each board has its own page that you can navigate to using the side bar. If you are interested in joining a board or attending a public meeting feel free to contact the DER office via phone at (845) 364- 2670, or via email at env@co.rockland.ny.us.

Environmental Management Council

The Rockland County Environmental Management Council (EMC) was established by the Rockland County Legislature in 1973. Members are volunteers representing Rockland County's five towns. They are appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the Legislature. EMC works in a non-partisan, non-adversarial manner to effect environmental improvement within the system.

The EMC sponsors the Eleanor Burlingham 5th Grade Earth Day Essay Contest annually which encourages youths to go outside and observe interactions between plants and animals. Students submit essays to the EMC for review. Five winners are selected each year and a ceremony takes place at the Allison-Parris County Office Building in early June.

Additional programs include: The Edward Brophy Green Champion Award which is given to an organization, business or group who have showed an exemplary focus on the environment; as well as the Annual Canoe Outing through the Piermont Marsh.

Member Information:

Executive Director - Nicole Laible
Clarkstown - Joanna Galdone, Ed Knyfd, Glenn Sungela {At-Large Member}
Haverstraw - Vacant
Orangetown - William Herguth, Brandon Caliendo
Ramapo - Natalie Patasaw - Chair, Kerry Potter-Kotecki, Gillian Ballard {At-Large Member}
Stony Point - Kevin Maher, Frank Collyer

Soil & Water Conservation District

SWCD was established in 1965 and is responsible for developing Soil and Water Conservation District programs to protect and conserve soil, water, prime and unique farmland, wildlife, energy and other renewable resources to meet the needs of the local land user on non-federal lands. The Board of Directors represent the County's five towns. They are appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Legislature.

The Rockland County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources Department is committed to encouraging municipalities and residents to conserve water and to protect our existing water resources.

Meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of the month (sometimes 4th Thursday...call our office).
Meetings start at 9:30am at the Dr. Robert L. Yeager Health Center, 50 Sanatorium Rd, Bldg K, Pomona, NY. All meetings are open to the public.

Member Information:

Executive Director - Allan Beers
District Manager - Nicole Laible
Clarkstown Hwy Dept. - Frank DiZenzo
Haverstraw Hwy Dept. - George Wargo Jr.
Orangetown Hwy Dept. - James Dean, Chair
Stony Point Hwy Dept. - Larry Brissing
Others - Delegated by Local Law

Water Quality Committee

The Mission of the Rockland County Water Quality Committee is to protect, conserve and restore Rockland County's water resources. Established in 1992, membership in the RCWQC is open to any organization, municipality, government agency, or individual interested in the mission and goals of the committee.

The WQC co-sponsors an annual Spring Cleanup along creeks located throughout the County. For 2015, the committee partnered with Keep Rockland Beautiful and Riverkeeper Sweep to clean up Black Beach in Haverstraw. 35 volunteers removed 660 lbs. of trash with the help of Seatow!

We meet periodically (about 5 times a year), usually on the second Tuesday of that month. All meetings are open to the public. See "Meeting Dates" document below.

Members Information:

Chair (Rockland Country Club), Matt Ceplo
Vice Chair (League of Women Voters), Hermine Levine
Second Vice Chair, Jim Elling
Secretary (Public), Tolly Beck
Treasurer (United Water New Jersey), Ray Cywinski
Staff Director (Rockland County SWCD and DER), Nicole Laible

Parks Commission

During the past 49 years, the Rockland County Park System has grown from one park of 3 acres to a network of 30 parks comprising 3,170 acres. The goal has been to achieve the national standard of one acre per 100 of population, and to provide county residents ready access to local parks without having to drive long distances to enjoy nature's beauty. Park acquisitions have been attained through gifts, tax delinquency, and County funds matched with Federal and State grants.

The Park Commission is indebted to the Rockland County Executive, Rockland County Legislators, County Planning Department Staff, Department of Law, Rockland County Sheriff Department, Rockland Audubon Society, Environmental Management Council, Department of General Services and Rockland County Highway Department for guidance and assistance with the many complexities faced in managing our parks. Meetings are scheduled when needed about 4 times per year (quarterly).

Members Information:

Joanna Galdone
Diane Gruskin
Claudia Perry
Geoffrey Welch

Former Chairmen:

Samuel G. Fisher
Luther A. Nelson
Thomas Vanderbeek

Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board

Advise the County Executive and Legislature on proposed establishment, modification or termination of any agricultural district and agricultural initiatives. The board reviews sub-division proposals that may affect agricultural land and approves and revises the Farmland Protection Plan. It may request that the NYS Commissioner of Agriculture & Markets intervene in disputes between agriculture producer's and government agencies.

The board provides public education related to the benefits of preserving and promoting the environmental, cultural and economic aspects of agriculture.

Members Information:

Hon. Harriet Cornell - Rockland County Legislature
James J. Dean - Soil & Water Conservation District
Machado Mead - Pfeiffer Center
John McDowell - Camp Hill Farm -   Chairman
Joy D. Macy- Farmer
Chuck Stead- Land Preservationist
William V. Summers- Farmer
Sean Matthews- Real Property Tax Officer
Douglas Schuetz- County Planning Dept.
John Wickes- Agribusiness
Ann Marie Palefsky- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County
Allan Beers- County Division of Environmental Resources (staff)
Nicole Laible- County Division of Environmental Resources (staff)