January 24, 2012
Contact: Karl Wagener
Link to Recommendations for Legislation: https://www.ct.gov/ceq/lib/ceq/Recommendations_for_Legislation_for_2012.pdf
Link to Summary List of Recommendations for Legislation: https://www.ct.gov/ceq/lib/ceq/Recommendations_for_Legislation_for_2012_--_Summary_List.pdf
STATE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY RECOMMENDS 12 IMPROVEMENTS TO STATE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS
HARTFORD – The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released its recommendations for legislation on Tuesday, highlighting the need to step up land conservation, both in the amount of land preserved and in the state’s strategy for selecting land for preservation. Ideas for “no-cost” preservation are included.
The recommendations also call for more training for members of municipal inlands wetlands agencies, for continued funding of the state Clean Water Fund, and for a financial analysis of how much money will be needed to control pollution from runoff in developed areas of the state.
The CEQ’s recommendations can be found on the CEQ’s website.
Council Chair Barbara Wagner explained, “Each year, usually in April, the Council issues the state’s official report on the condition of Connecticut’s air, land and water. The Council then evaluates the trends that are displayed in the numerical statewide “environmental indicators,” and in January submits recommendations for legislation aimed at ‘remedying the deficiencies of existing programs and activities,’ to quote the CEQ's statutory mandate.”
“The CEQ also investigates citizen complaints,” Wagner continued, “and often discovers that the environmental problems that are reported to us are not covered adequately by existing laws. We offer recommendations to fix those problems as well.”
Recommendations in this category include more enforcement powers for law enforcement agencies to rein in illegal All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) use, consolidation of programs that provide potable water to victims of well contamination, and better deterrence against illegal tree cutting. The Council also is recommending a moratorium on new Outdoor Wood Furnaces until the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection establishes maximum emission levels for them.
The CEQ published its draft recommendations in November and invited the public to comment on them at a public forum at the Legislative Office Building. Some of the public’s comments are included alongside the recommendations, which can be found at www.ct.gov/ceq .