2023 CEQ Annual Report


Remedying the Deficiencies of Existing Programs and Activities

The Council acknowledges the efforts of the Governor and Legislature in enacting legislation in recent years to address the critically important issue of climate change. Consistent with its charge to recommend actions to improve state environmental programs, the Council recommends the following:

  • Expand efforts to more aggressively reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:
    • reduce the consumption of energy in all sectors;
    • expand the use of mass transit and electric-drive vehicles; and
    • reduce solid waste and increase the diversion of solid waste.

  • Promote nature-based solutions that support climate change mitigation and adaptation:
    • increase carbon sequestration;
    • protect forests and wetlands as carbon sinks;
    • restore coastal habitats;
    • protect potable water sources;
    • meet farmland preservation goals; and
    • increase climate-smart agriculture and soil conservation.
  • Protect watershed land and water resources to protect drinking water sources, reduce hypoxia conditions in Long Island Sound, increase the area of productive shellfish beds, and eliminate the number of beach action days:
    • promote protective land use controls;
    • establish and protect riparian buffers;
    • eliminate combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs); and
    • reduce impervious surface area.

  • Protect agricultural land and core forests:
    • expand the forest and farmland protections of Public Act 17-218 to include any solar and/or energy storage projects within the jurisdiction of the Connecticut Siting Council.

  • Increase resources for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and other agencies to:
    • provide program administration and assistance to municipal wetland officials and commissions;
    • enhance land preservation efforts for open space, forests, and farmland;
    • protect and enhance habitats for all of Connecticut’s flora and fauna;
    • incorporate consideration of the rising sea level in project planning and funding in shoreline communities; and
    • control the introduction and expansion of invasive species.