CEQ Data on Beach Closings, Sewage in Rivers, Scarcity of Lobsters, and Diminishing Numbers of Fish Species, Points Out Need to Strengthen Protections, Not Weaken Them
This week CTLCV issued the following alert to legislators on HB 6400:
HB 6400, AAC LICENSURE OF STORMWATER PROFESSIONALS, creates a category of storm water professionals who will have nearly absolute authority to certify that a storm water management plan meets state and local standards. The bill also restricts the state's ability to consider impacts on species and habitat under a storm water permit, unless the state has invested more than $1 million in the project. In other words, the vast majority of projects would not have to comply with current wildlife law.
CTLCV urges legislators to reject the provisions in the bill that override local land use commissions. Such provisions eliminate the role of municipal officials in storm water management, weaken protections for natural resources, and undermine the credibility of applicants themselves.
CTLCV urges legislators to reject the bill's attempt to interfere with protection of endangered species under the guise of streamlining storm water permitting.
CTLCV is following discussions on the provisions of the bill relating to the state general permit for storm water. We support efficient permitting. DEP and others are considering ideas for changes that could speed the permit process and include verification of performance.
Connecticut's rivers and the Long Island Sound show the need for significant improvement in the way that we manage storm water and other water pollution problems. According to the Council for Environmental Quality Annual Report released on April 21st, Connecticut is losing ground in several important areas of environmental protection:
- Beach closings (usually because of pollution washed into the water by heavy rains);
- Sewage-free rivers (about 80 miles of rivers receive overflows of raw sewage during storms; only 11% of rivers and streams are clean enough for swimming and other water sports);
- Lobsters (still scarce in LI Sound); and
- LI Sound fish species (only about half those species are increasing).
Please consider the future of CT's water resources and do not allow any weakening of our current protection standards. Thank you.