New York state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos has decided to step down from the role, Spectrum News 1 learned Wednesday evening.

Seggos has led the DEC since October 2015, the longest tenure a commissioner has served in that department.

“This has been an extremely tough decision because DEC is like a second home and I view you all like family,” Seggos wrote in a letter to staff acquired by Spectrum News 1. “And to make it harder, we have really hit our stride lately, thanks to brilliant and dedicated staff, record funding, and a Governor who truly supports our agency, our people and the mission of protecting the environment. But after more than eight years in this role, this is the right decision for me and my family. It's time for a new chapter.”

The news of his departure was first reported by POLITICO New York.

Seggos said he will remain in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration into the spring to see the completion of negotiations in this year’s state budget, which is due April 1.

“For nearly a decade, Commissioner Seggos has led the Department of Conservation through a pivotal moment in our climate fight. His leadership has been instrumental in safeguarding our land and water, combatting climate change, protecting New Yorkers during extreme storms, and supporting the incredible outdoor recreation programs across the state," said Katy Zielinski, a spokeswoman for Gov. Hochul, in a statement. "Governor Hochul is grateful for Commissioner Seggos' dedication to protecting New Yorkers and our environment." 

Prior to his work as commissioner, Seggos served as deputy secretary for the environment for the governor’s office.

Hochul will appoint Seggos’ successor, who will then have to be confirmed by the state Senate.


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