Environmental Management Council

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The Erie County Environmental Management Council (EMC) is an advisory board to the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning

EMC logo

The Council was established in the Erie County Charter in 1971 under Article 47 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law.  Members of the Council represent many of the cities, towns, and villages within Erie County, as well as 12 at-large members from throughout the County. Their mission is two-fold:

1) Advise county government on local environmental concerns; and

2) Provide a liaison between the community and county government.


Latest News: 

  • The 2021 Environmental Excellence Awards have been announced. Check out the winners and find out more about the program here.



The Erie County Environmental Management Council strives to effect environmental improvement within the inter-governmental system. EMC projects often take the form of studies that provide recommended courses of action of decision makers. Some of the highlighted accomplishments of the EMC include:

  • Provide a resource for both the County of Erie, New York Executive and the Erie County Legislature in their understanding and resolution of environmental issues which affect the residents of Erie County
  • Assisting the Western New York Stormwater Coalition in reaching out to inform and involve the public in assisting their municipalities in protecting and improving water quality in our waterbodies
  • Developing brochures and other educational materials to encourage citizen's and governmental agencies to eliminate or reduce the use of chemical pesticides in caring for their lawns and gardens
  • Helped co-sponsor, develop, and implement plans for public education efforts surrounding the 30th anniversary of Earth Day.
  • Played a principal role in the phosphate detergents ban legislation (1974 - 1975)
  • Lobbied for returnable container and deposit legislation
  • Developed and delivered a training program for local elected officials, code enforcement officers and municipal planners to help them better use the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) to mitigate and avoid environmental impacts in their communities.

Annual Recommendations Reports

The Erie County Environmental Management Council (EMC) annually publishes a recommendations report. This report takes a comprehensive look at the County's environment and makes recommendations for the future.

The EMC Environmental Excellence Awards Program

Started in 2015, this program recognizes exceptional projects carried out by municipal and non-profit organizations in Erie County that stand to have a significant and lasting positive impact on the natural environment. The awards program is designed to showcase and promote projects that can be replicated in communities across Erie County and beyond.  Projects could be in the areas of Planning & Design, Land Use and Zoning, Natural Resource Protection, Air and Water Quality, Ecosystem Health, Energy and Transportation, Agriculture and Forestry, Solid Waste Management, Contaminated Sites, Community Action & Education, Climate Change or any other related subject area.  Application forms are released in January each year with applications due in early March and an award ceremony near Earth Day, at the end of April.

    • 2021 Awards

      The Erie County Environmental Management Council (EMC), an advisory board to the County on environmental issues, has announced its 2021 Environmental Excellence Award Winners:   

      • Buffalo Heritage Carousel, Inc. – The KeyBank Roundhouse
      • Buffalo Sewer Authority, Community Action Organization (CAO) of Western New York, and Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect - Water WORX Community Education
      • Imagine: Hamburg – Butt Kickers Committee 

      Read below to find out more about their projects and where you can learn more.  The 2022 award applications process will be announced on this web site in January.

      Buffalo Heritage Carousel, Inc. – The KeyBank Roundhouse

      The Buffalo Heritage Carousel, Inc., is opening this year, has worked to include education about renewable energy technologies, conservation and preservation into the design of the KeyBank Roundhouse.  Their thoughtful design stimulates life-long learning about our past, the environment and the responsible use of our natural resources through play and hands-on experiences.  For more information, visit: https://www.buffaloheritagecarousel.org/.

      Buffalo Sewer Authority, Community Action Organization (CAO) of Western New York, and Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect - Water WORX Community Education

      The Buffalo Sewer Authority partnering with Community Action Organization (CAO) of Western New York, worked Joy Kuebler Landscape, to engage and educate youth, utilizing its newly designed green infrastructure project for Buffalo’s Willert Park Neighborhood as a living laboratory.  The program is designed to inspire the next generation of green infrastructure designers, installers and planners. For more information, visit: https://raincheckbuffalo.org/project/water-worx-stormwater-education-program/.

      Imagine: Hamburg – Butt Kickers Committee

      Imagine: Hamburg volunteers have engaged their community to prevent cigarette butt litter. Many people believe that cigarette butts are biodegradable, but they are actually made of plastic. The volunteers created an informational brochure that they delivered to more than 100 village businesses and established receptacles.  They also joined a regional effort around this issue organized by Roswell Park.  For more information, contact: https://imaginehamburg.org/meetings-contact-us/.

Healthy Lawns


The EMC has a Healthy Lawns Campaign called "A Safe Home for the Gnomes".  Follow the link for details on how to reduce pesticide and other chemical inputs to your lawns and help make our community healthier.


Community Climate Change Task Force

The EMC established a Climate Change Task Force in 2019 to address this pressing issue.  The Task Force was recognized by County Executive Mark Poloncarz in Executive Order 20.

EMC Community Climate Change Task Force Members



Picture of Natural Places brochure

Natural Places of Erie County was produced by the Environmental Management Council and others.

This fold-out brochure includes a map of 44 of the County's natural places and a grid showing the amenities of each location.


Additional Information

For copies of the meeting minutes, upcoming agendas, or other information, please email Josh Wilson at Peter.Wilson@erie.gov

Last updated: September 16, 2021 2:06pm