Minutes of the July 27, 2005 meeting of the Council on Environmental Quality, held in the Russell Room, 3rd Floor, 79 Elm Street, Hartford. 

PRESENT:  Thomas Harrison (Chairman), Howard Beach, John Mandyck, Susan Mendenhall, Richard Sherman, Norman VanCor, Karl Wagener (Executive Director)

Chairman Harrison called the meeting to order at 9:09 AM, and determined that a quorum was present.

Mendenhall made a motion to accept the June 22, 2005 meeting minutes.  Second by Beach.  VanCor offered one change, clarifying that he had been an employee, not a volunteer, the previous year at Sessions Woods, which was mentioned in the discussion of open space encroachments. The change was accepted, and the amended minutes were approved unanimously.

Executive Director’s Report

Wagener reported on recent staff activities, including his participation in a public meeting convened by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regarding the update to the state’s solid waste management plan.  He said he learned that Connecticut was exporting at least three hundred thousand tons of garbage per year to other states, and this was a result of the state’s failure to achieve its solid waste recycling and reduction goals, which was noted in the Council’s annual report.

Citizen Complaints

Farmington Wetlands – Wagener referred to the letter from DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy, which had been received the day before.  Members agreed that they would like to discuss inland wetlands issues with the DEP, as suggested in the letter, and that staff should contact DEP staff to clarify that the Council’s concern in Farmington was about enforcement, not the recent application.

Lead at shooting ranges – Wagener said he learned from DEP staff that the Department had looked at this potential problem, and had developed a manual of Best Management Practices, which was still a draft but was distributed.  The DEP had looked at the risks, and had concluded that the environmental risks were virtually nonexistent except in aquatic situations.  Members agreed that the Council did not need to take this up.

Dedicatory road signs – Wagener described a complaint received some time ago about the proliferation of unsightly and cluttering signs, mandated by the General Assembly, that dedicate bridges and roads to individuals and organizations as a way to honor them.  Wagener said that the legislature had made 27 new designations this session.  After some discussion, members agreed that the Council could not address this now, but would monitor it.

Open space abuse – Wagener said he had collected quite a few examples of people encroaching upon and/or causing damage to state lands, and that he would have a more complete report the next month.

Wagener said there were no state agency projects requiring action or discussion.  After a brief review of the outline of the 10:00 news conference, Chairman Harrison adjourned the meeting at 9:45.