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Image of a stream.

VICTORY! Legislation Threatening CT’s Environment and Public Health Defeated!

The Connecticut General Assembly this year considered two laws that would undermine Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), increase pollution, and hurt Connecticut’s rivers and streams. Meaningful environmental review to protect air and water quality is a necessity, not a luxury. The CT General Assembly has heard from the people of Connecticut, demanding that their state leaders protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and our public health.

Polluter’s Permit Bill (S.B. 1019)

A key responsibility of the CT DEP is to evaluate permit applications to ensure that proposals do not adversely impact public health and our environment. The Polluter’s Permit bill severely limits DEP’s ability to adequately review permits for air and water pollution. If the Polluter Permit bill became law, it would effectively rubberstamp permits by automatically approving them, if not reviewed in 90 days, regardless of potential environmental or public health threats. DEP is currently understaffed, and already struggling to keep up with the expectations of a streamlined permit process passed by the legislature last year. CCE successfully defeated the Polluter’s Permit Bill during the 2011 Legislative Session.

Image of a dry stream.

Drain Streams Dry Bill (S.B. 1020)

The Drain Streams Dry bill undermines the DEP’s authority to protect water quantity and regulate stream flow. Streams need adequate water to support fish and wildlife, recreational fishing, and maintain water quality. Industry often demands significant water resources and those demands must be balanced with the integral needs of the local water resource. This legislation tips this important balance in favor of corporate greed by giving veto powers to the Dept. of Economic and Community Development and the Dept. of Agriculture. If passed, S.B. 1020 would remove science-based decision making standards in favor of maximizing corporate profits.

The Drain Streams Dry bill ignores the costs related to providing the public with clean drinking water. The legislation prohibits the DEP from instituting regulations if they are viewed as "inhibiting economic development."Without strong science-based stream flow standards, reduced stream flow warms waters which exacerbates algal growth and can degrade fish habitat. Without adequate stream flow, pollution becomes more concentrated, which in turn increases the costs for treating drinking water. CCE successfully defeated the Drain Streams Dry bill in 2011.

Protecting and conserving Connecticut’s water resources is essential. We must use science-based standards to ensure clean water to drink, adequate stream flow for fish; and available water for agriculture, industry, and other demands for current and future generations.

Important Environmental and Public Health Public Health Protections Upheld

Senate Bills 1019 and 1020 failed to pass during this year’s legislative session, due to intense public opposition. CCE thanks ours members for their efforts to stop this attack on our environment and public health. Your support was essential for this victory for clean water and clean air!

Updated by lburch 6/30/11