The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is charged with conserving, improving and protecting the natural resources and the environment of the state of Connecticut as well as making cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy available for the people and businesses of the state. The agency is also committed to playing a positive role in rebuilding Connecticut’s economy and creating jobs – and to fostering a sustainable and prosperous economic future for the state.
DEEP was established on July 1, 2011 with the consolidation of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Public Utility Control, and energy policy staff from other areas of state government. The environmental protection agency had been established in 1971 at the dawn of the environmental movement, while the public utilities regulatory authority traces its roots back more than 150 years to the state’s Railroad Commission.
The DEEP is organized into three main branches and the Office of the Commissioner:
- The Energy Branch is led by Vicki Hackett and includes the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) – formerly the Department of Public Utility Control – which reviews rates for electricity, water, cable television and other utilities as well as a Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy, which develops forward-looking energy efficiency, infrastructure and alternative power programs.
- The Environmental Quality Branch is headed by Betsey Wingfield and is comprised of the Bureaus of Air Management, Materials Management and Compliance Assurance, and Water Protection and Land Reuse. These bureaus protect the air, land and water resources of the state by regulating air emissions, wastewater discharges and solid and hazardous wastes. Tools used include the development of regulations, policies and standards; permitting and enforcement; air and water quality monitoring; and public outreach and education.
- The Environmental Conservation Branch consists of two bureaus and is led by Mason Trumble. The Bureau of Natural Resources is charged with managing the state’s natural resources (particularly fish, wildlife, and forests) through a program of regulation, management, research, and public education. The Bureau of Outdoor Recreation is charged with the conservation and management of statewide recreation lands and resources through the acquisition of open space and the management of resources, including state parks, to meet the outdoor recreation needs of the public.
- The Office of the Commissioner, including the Offices of Adjudications, Diversity & Equity, Legal Counsel and Chief of Staff (which includes Communications, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, Planning and Program Development and Governmental Affairs), provides administrative management, staff assistance, and ancillary service to aid the Commissioner and Bureau Chiefs in their efforts to carry out the mission of the agency. In addition, the Bureau of Central Services provides a wide array of services including, Information Management, Engineering and Field Support, Financial Management, Human Resource Management and Purchasing.
- Integrate energy and environmental policies and programs in a more systematic, proactive and coherent manner to provide a better structure for decision-making and to build a sustainable and prosperous economic future.
- Bring down the cost of electricity to make Connecticut more competitive, promote energy efficiency, and encourage the development and use of clean energy technologies.
- Unleash a renewed spirit of innovation for pollution control, conservation of natural resources, and management of Connecticut’s parks and forests.