Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The state must have a first-class transportation system for the 21st century, and must find a way to pay for it. If Governor Malloy and the legislature can stabilize transportation funding, the goal then would be to keep moving toward a balanced, multimodal system of transportation.
Read the complete editorial here:
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
CTLCV issued an alert to members of the legislative Regulation Review Committee urging them to pass the streamflow standards and regulations that are scheduled for a vote on Tuesday, December 21. A close vote is anticipated, so calls to legislators are timely.
The Streamflow Problem
At least 60 rivers and streams in Connecticut are impaired or threatened by low flows. (Whitford Brook, Ledyard, pictured at right.)
Recent fights over river flows have led to multi-town litigation (Shepaug River, Waterbury), proposed legislative action (Mill River, New Haven), and multi-agency enforcement actions (Fenton River, Storrs). All parties agree that such ad hoc solutions in litigious conflicts are not the best way to manage our water resources.
Past Efforts Not Effective
More than 30 years ago, Connecticut attempted to protect rivers with a flow standard for stocked streams. But it was negotiated down to such a meager quantity (less than third the U.S. Fish and Wildlife standard) that it was rarely enforced and not protective.
Proposed Regulations a Step Forward
The proposed regulations are forward-looking, ensuring that Connecticut in the future will have healthy rivers and ample, high-quality water supply. This is essential for our quality of life and economic wellbeing. They apply to all Connecticut streams (not just those stocked by the DEP).
The proposed regulations are science-based, calling for releases that reflect natural flow patterns. They provide for public participation in setting classifications and standards for streams.
These proposed regulations were developed in accordance with Public Act 05-142. The Department of Environmental Protection has worked with a wide range of stakeholders for almost five years to create a process and standards for protecting stream flows across the state, as mandated in the Act.
The regulations have been modified to accommodate the concerns expressed in the LCO report of October 26, 2010. Equally important, the DEP has responded prudently and practically to the concerns of the regulated community. Taking a step-by-step approach, the proposed regulations apply only to dams on water-supply reservoirs and do not address gravity pipes, wells, siphons or other structures that divert water from streams. The regulations include numerous exemptions and opportunities for individual variations, with special consideration for golf courses, farms, and water companies that have a narrow margin of safety. A very long implementation period (ten to twenty years) allows companies ample time to integrate flow releases into their infrastructure planning for maximum cost control.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
– Kelly Kennedy, CTLCV
“Your goals are my goals,” Malloy announced to the capacity crowd of environmental advocates and legislators gathered at yesterday’s annual environmental summit. Malloy’s unannounced half-hour visit in the midst of a packed transition schedule signaled his level of concern for the environment and sustainable economic development.
Seeming to be chomping at the bit to get to work on what he described as Connecticut’s “long ignored, festering problems,” Malloy emphasized that as Governor he will be fully engaged on the complex issues of energy and transportation. Malloy’s remarks also revealed a regard for Connecticut’s environment as an asset that is fundamental to the quality of life here.
Yale professor and Green to Gold author Dan Esty opened the summit, discussing the anticlimactic UN climate talks in Cancun and the urgent need for the US to make a serious commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Yet Esty emphasized the opportunity for states like Connecticut, historically known as a center of innovation, to take the lead in building the industry and creating the jobs that will provide the innovative solutions essential to managing environmental and energy problems.
Legislative leadership from both political parties, business representatives and environmental advocates led discussions throughout the day about what’s on the horizon for Connecticut’s energy, transportation, land use and water management policies.
The summit took place at the Boathouse in Hartford’s Riverfront Park, one day after a conference on successful business sustainability practices sponsored jointly by CBIA and the CT Department of Environmental Protection.