ALBANY, NY — New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 2018, the 288 ECOs across the state responded to 21,668 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 20,665 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations
On Aug. 17, ECO Aaron Bonilla received a complaint about a suspicious device discovered on an isolated Lake Ontario beach in the town of Ellisburg. After determining that the explosive’s location could only be accessed by boat, the ECO used a small boat to wind through the waterway connected to Lake Ontario and found the device on the beach. The officer forwarded photos of it to the New York State Police Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit for identification, and a Trooper confirmed the device is a Canadian Munitions Flare that could contain up to 1.5 pounds of phosphorus gas, and could ignite if dry and agitated. ECO Bonilla met a Trooper at the boat launch and took him via boat to the flare where it was secured and transported for safe disposal.