2021 CEQ Annual Report


Letter                    50 Years                  The Climate Challenge

Introduction - Understanding
“Environmental Quality in Connecticut” 

The Annual Report of the Council on Environmental Quality for 2021

published April 20, 2022

Welcome to Environmental Quality in Connecticut. This edition documents the condition of Connecticut's environment during the 2021 calendar year. This annual report is designed to be read online to allow use of the navigation buttons to move from section to section within it or to find the topics of interest in the Index. Online, the values on the charts will appear under your cursor.This symbol is used to indicate that the Indicator contributes to or is impacted by climate change.

The majority of Connecticut's key environmental indicators are strongly affected -- almost always negatively -- by a changing climate. The symbol at right (example) will identify indicators that are so affected or those that affect the climate. For the online edition, running your cursor over the symbol will reveal a brief statement of the indicator's connection to climate that is also linked to more information. For the printed version, please refer to “Climate Notes” at the end of this Annual Report.

Summary Key for Indicators: Each page in the report has an environmental theme. Where an indicator shows change over time, there will usually be a summary key to allow for a quick evaluation of the status of that indicator. The top line is the indicator’s status for the most recent year; the second line shows the current year’s status compared to the 10-year trend; and the third line shows whether the indicator is on track to meet its goal.

Description of summary box symbols

The asterisks in the body of the text refer to clarifying information found in the “Technical Notes” section on most pages. The endnotes identify the primary source of the information.

In 2021, as was the case in 2020, the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) imposed some practical challenges to the monitoring of environmental conditions and enforcement of environmental regulations. Data for some indicators were affected by measures to reduce exposure of State employees to COVID-19 and by residents’ personal behaviors in response to the virus. For example, there were no surveys for bat populations at the monitoring site due to Covid-19. In addition, several of the indicators increased or decreased, more than would be normally expected, due to the public's response to the COVID 19 virus. Residential electricity consumption increased significantly in 2021, in part, because people were spending more time at home, while bus ridership declined. 

There may be updates to the 2021 Annual Report if data become available that were not available at publication. Sign up for e-alerts to receive a notice when updates are published. The Council welcomes your comments and questions.