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ENVIRONMENTAL FUNDING: CONNECTICUT

Environmental protection is a necessity, not a luxury

Image of Black Rock State Park.

Black Rock State Park

Whether you visit state parks, frequent Connecticut's beaches, or enjoy our pastoral landscapes, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) programs have enhanced our quality of life in Connecticut while protecting our water and air quality.

What is the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and why is it important?

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is the agency in charged with administering the state's environmental and conservation programs, protecting water resources and environmental quality. DEEP is also responsible for reviewing and regulating electric rates and advancing clean energy and energy efficiency in Connecticut. DEEP was designed to integrate Connecticut's energy and environmental policies in an effort to develop a streamlined and sustainable balance between the state's energy needs and the needs of a healthy environment. DEEP is organized into three main branches:

  1. Environmental Quality: Comprised of the Bureaus of Air Management, Materials Management and Compliance Assurance, and Water Protection and Land Reuse. These bureaus work to protect Connecticut's air and water resources through permitting and enforcement; air and water quality monitoring; and public education.
  2. Environmental Conservation: Divided into two bureaus. The Bureau of Natural Resources is charged with managing the state's natural resources (particularly fish, wildlife, and forests), while the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation is charged with the conservation and management of statewide recreation lands and resources through the acquisition of open space and the management of resources, including state parks.
  3. Energy: The Energy branch of DEEP is charged with developing a sustainable energy policy for the state of Connecticut that reduces rates and increases the use of clean energy and energy efficiency, while creating jobs and preserving our natural resources. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) reviews rates for electricity, water, cable television and other utilities. The Bureau of Energy and Technology works to develop innovative energy efficiency, infrastructure, and alternative power programs to diversify the energy grid.

Budget Shortfalls Put Public Health at Risk!

Adjusted for inflation, Connecticut spends fewer dollars today on DEEP and environmental protection than when the original DEP was created in 1972. DEEP is responsible for identifying and penalizing violators of important environmental standards. Shortages in enforcement staff can lead to a diminished ability to implement standards pertaining to wastewater discharge and the disposal of hazardous materials. Due to continuing budget cuts and increased pressure on the agency to reduce regulatory obstacles to development, there is not enough staff to thoroughly and adequately review all submitted permits - putting the environment and public health at risk. Adequate staff at DEEP is needed to ensure permits are processed efficiently and do not compromise public health, clean water, and clean air.

Updated by lburch 11/7/14