Minutes of the March 23, 2011 meeting of the Council on Environmental Quality, held in the Holcombe Conference Room at 79 Elm St., Hartford.
PRESENT: Barbara Wagner (Chair), Janet Brooks, Bruce Fernandez, Karyl Lee Hall, Richard Sherman, Norman VanCor, Karl Wagener (Executive Director), Peter Hearn (Environmental Analyst).
Chair Wagner convened the meeting at 9:03 AM, noting the presence of a quorum.
Chair Wagner asked if there were revisions to the minutes of the February 24, 2011 meeting. Brooks noted that there was no need for the word “not” in the second to last paragraph and that it obscured the meaning of the sentence. Chair Wagner asked if there were any other revisions. There were none. A motion to approve the minutes subject to Brooks’ revision was offered by Sherman and seconded by Fernandez. It was approved. VanCor abstained because of absence from that meeting.
Chair Wagner reported on legislative hearings she had attended, and on the testimony she submitted regarding the proposed merger of the Council into the proposed Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Wagener was asked to update the Council on the bills that were reported out of legislative committees that concerned the Council. Discussion followed.
With regard to energy issues, Sherman suggested that the interaction of energy regulation and the environment is an appropriate topic for future exploration by the Council. Wagener mentioned that he had received an inquiry from a citizen as to whether some capital expenditures of quasi-public energy agencies would be subject to the requirements of the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act if those agencies become part of a state agency.
Executive Director's Report
Wagener reported that the transfer by sale of the Seaside Property in Waterford to a developer was proceeding. The transfer would include an easement for public access to the shoreline, a provision the Council had recommended.
He said the Commerce Committee had approved the brownfields remediation bill but that he had not yet reviewed the substitute language.
Discussion of Annual Report Topics
The Council reviewed the list of 36 indicators and the data showing whether each indicator had improved, declined or remained unchanged. Members discussed which indicators were not on target for achieving the state's goals. There was discussion of the indicators and suggestions were made on how to better label some of the data.
The Council discussed portions of the text of the annual report that had been sent to them in advance.
Wagener said that a final draft would be ready for approval by mid April. She asked if it would be acceptable to the members to change the next Council meeting by one week to April 20 to review the report; members concurred. Chair Wagner asked that the absent members be polled also.
There was a brief discussion of how to effectively submit to the governor what is designed to be an on-line publication.
Review of State Agency Actions
a) Glastonbury Boat Launch Facility – Wagener said that staff had received no new information.
b) Post Scoping Notice – Wagener noted that there is a new category in the Environmental Monitor as a consequence of the newly adopted generic environmental classification document. He referred the Council to the draft template that will assist agencies to include all the essential information for those notices. Hall motioned to approve the template. Fernandez seconded and it was approved unanimously.
c) Siting Council – The Siting Council had requested comment on two proposed telecommunication towers. One is proposed for Greenwich, the other for Bridgewater. Staff did not recommend comments for either.
There being no further business Chair Wagner asked for a motion to adjourn. Sherman offered the motion which was seconded by VanCor. The meeting was adjourned at 11:34 AM.