April 16, 2020
The Honorable Ned Lamont
Governor of Connecticut
Hartford, CT 06106
Dear Governor Lamont:
I am pleased to submit Environmental Quality in Connecticut for 2019. This is the Council’s forty-eighth Annual Report to the Governor. In accordance with CGS 22a-12, this report describes environmental conditions for the 2019 calendar year. It is best read as an on-line document on the Council’s website. There the values on its charts will appear under the reader’s cursor and the reader can access the many supplemental document which are hyperlinked within it. To expedite reviewing the report's environmental indicators, quick summary boxes are provided above the report’s charts to show the recent trend in that data.
This report is being issued when the State and our nation are in the midst of the COVID-19 virus public health emergency and, coincidentally, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. That event, in 1970, was the result of a societal awakening to the cumulative impacts of human activity on our natural world. To mark that anniversary, the report was expanded to show the long-term trends for many measures of the State’s environmental health, that are usually only displayed as recent trends. Air quality, water quality, raptor recovery are but a few of the measures that illustrate the salutary consequences of the environmental laws and regulations from which all of Connecticut’s citizens and businesses have benefited.
The Report illustrates Connecticut’s progress and its remaining challenges. It identifies areas where Connecticut will not meet its stated goals without a significant increase in effort and resources. Among the most formidable environmental challenges that lie ahead are open space acquisition, farmland preservation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Council believes that if the same focus and effort are applied to those challenges, as was applied to the air pollution and water pollution problems of the 1970’s, there is reason to be optimistic about future success.
In 2019, the Council was heartened to see your administration’s quick response to the two unexpected spills of PFAS, the expansion of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change and the affirmation of the 2040 goal of zero carbon emissions. As always, the Council looks forward to providing you with any additional information you might request.
Susan D. Merrow, Chair