CEQ Members and staff

Keith R. Ainsworth, Esq.
Keith Ainsworth has been an environmental and land use litigator of the New Haven Bar for nearly three decades. He has a broad conservation-based practice representing land trusts, non-profits, land owners and businesses in transactions and litigation throughout Connecticut before administrative agencies and state and federal courts. As a former chair of the CT Bar Association Environmental Law section and a municipal first selectman (Haddam), Keith has a perspective from several sides of the table. A graduate of Tufts with a B.S. in biology, environmental studies and English literature, Keith brings a scientific and analytical background to the law. Keith is a life member of the Madison Land Conservation Trust and served on the national leadership council of Trout Unlimited. Keith also serves as General Counsel to Vista Life Innovations, Inc., a private educational institute for adults with intellectual disabilities. Keith is also an avid outdoorsman and the author of several volumes of poetry.

 
Alicea Charamut
Resident of Newington. Executive Director of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut. Board of Directors, Farmington Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Secretary, Fisheries Advisory Council.   Co-Chair, Water Planning Council Advisory Group. Advisory Board, Connecticut Institute of Water Resources.
 
David Kalafa
Resident of Middletown. Over thirty years working for the State of Connecticut developing and implementing policy for energy and conservation at the Office of Policy and Management and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retired as Undersecretary for Comprehensive Planning and Intergovernmental Policy at the Office of Policy Management. Served on the State Water Planning Council and Governor's Climate Change Commission. Holds a Master of Public Administration from the State University of New York and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Skidmore College.
 
Kip Kolesinskas
Resident of Manchester. Consulting Conservation Scientist. Current projects include assisting agencies, NGO’s, and private individuals with farmland protection, land access and affordability for new and beginning farmers, farmland restoration, and climate change adaptation strategies. Member of the Working Lands Alliance Steering Committee, and has contributed to numerous publications and initiatives including Conservation Options for Connecticut Farmland, Planning for Agriculture-A Guide for Connecticut Municipalities, and the award-winning training videos for CT DEEP’s Municipal Inland Wetland’s Agency Training Program. Formerly USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Soil Scientist for Connecticut and Rhode Island, where he worked extensively with farmers, educators, government and nonprofits to help them protect farmland and wetlands, and use soils information to make better informed land use decisions. He is a recognized regional and national speaker on soils and land use planning, farmland protection, climate change adaptation, farmland access, and wetlands.
 

Matthew Reiser
Resident of Avon. Environmental, health and safety consultant with over 20 years of experience performing regulatory compliance auditing, planning, training and reporting; air, water and waste discharge permitting; and air, water and waste sampling for industrial, commercial, municipal and institutional facilities. Member, Connecticut Chapter of the Academy of Certified Hazardous Materials Managers. Member, Connecticut Marine Trades Association Environment Committee.

Charles Vidich
Resident of Ashford. Environmental and land use consultant concerned with energy efficient and sustainable patterns of development.  Served as manager of the United States Postal Service Corporate Sustainability Initiatives program with responsibility for sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental management systems for the nation’s 32,000 domestic and overseas Post Offices.  Previously served as the principal planner for the Central Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments where he developed solar conscious land use ordinances and the nation’s first comprehensive regional plan of development. Appointed to the Connecticut Land Use Education Council with the mission to improve the skills and resources available to local planning and zoning commissions. Received the Lifetime Achievement Award from EPA’s National Sustainable Materials Management program.Appointed a visiting scientist to the Harvard School of Public Health as well as the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative where he lectured on scientific approaches to the use of quarantine and the environmental control of communicable disease. He served as the pivotal expert witness in a celebrated Connecticut Supreme Court case that successfully overturned restrictive zoning regulations and in a federal district court case that successfully overturned discriminatory land use practices.

William Warzecha
Resident of Norwich. Retired from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection with 36+ years of service. Early in his career, he served as the geologist/hydrogeologist to the Eastern Connecticut and King’s Mark Environmental Review Teams applying his technical background and expertise mainly in the areas of water supply development, waste disposal, and geologic development concerns with respect to major land-use projects, watershed studies and natural resource inventories statewide and assisted staff of the Connecticut Geological & Natural History Survey on geologic studies and investigations. Retired as the supervising environmental analyst for the Department’s Remediation Division primarily responsible for enforcing the state’s ground water pollution and potable water laws, protecting the state’s water resources, and overseeing the clean-up of soil and ground water at polluted industrial and commercial sites. He was a long-time Board member representing the City of Norwich to the Uncas Health District, and is presently serving as a Trustee at the Norwich Free Academy and a member of the Board of Commissioners for the City of Norwich’s Public Utilities and Sewer Authority. Holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and Policy and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Earth Science.

Interested in serving on the Council on Environmental Quality?
 
The Council members serve a maximum eight-year term. Costs associated with travel to its monthly meetings are reimbursable. Though attendance remotely is allowed, you will want to meet the members in person. They are drawn to the Council due to their expertise in environmental science, law and governmental administration. The Council's duties are described above.

Current Membership:

Name Appointed By Appointed Term Ends
Keith Ainsworth Speaker of the House Mar. '19 Mar. '27
Alicea Charamut Governor Dec. '15 Dec. 23
David Kalafa President Pro Tempore Apr. ' 19 Apr. '27
Kip Kolesinskas Governor Dec. '15 Dec. '23
Matthew Reiser Governor Mar. '16 Mar. '24
Charles Vidich Speaker of the House Nov. '16 Nov. '24
William Warzecha President Pro Tempore Dec. '21  Dec. '29 
 

Currently Vacant:
Two (2) appointments by Governor

STAFF
Paul Aresta, Executive Director

Environmental Analyst II - open