Minutes of the April 25, 2007 meeting of the Council on Environmental Quality, held in the Holcombe Conference Room, 79 Elm Street, Hartford.

PRESENT:  Thomas Harrison (Chairman), Howard Beach, Susan Mendenhall, Earl W, Phillips, Jr., Richard Sherman, Norman VanCor, Barbara Wagner, Wes Winterbottom, Karl Wagener (Executive Director), Emily VerPloeg (Intern).

Chairman Harrison convened the meeting at 9:10 AM and determined that a quorum was present. 

Beach made a motion to approve the March 28, 2007 minutes.  Second by Mendenhall.  Approved unanimously. 

Executive Director’s Report

Wagener reported that the Finance Advisory Committee had approved the transfer of unexpended funds from the personnel account to the other expenses account, which allows the money to be spent on the annual report printing and web publication. 

Wagener discussed the proposed budget for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and various capital expenditures including the Clean Water Fund and Face of Connecticut.  He also discussed the DEP’s operating budget as approved by the Appropriations Committee.  Wagener also updated the Council on several bills.

Citizen Complaints

Farmington Wetlands  – Wagener reported on his meeting with attorneys in the Environment section of the Office of the Attorney General.  Wagener said they rely on DEP staff for investigations, as they have no investigation staff of their own.  After some discussion, members asked Wagener to draft for review a letter to Commissioner McCarthy recommending further investigation by the DEP, which would allow a determination of whether or not further enforcement action is warranted. 

Discussion of Annual Report Topics

Members discussed the draft report and made many suggestions for strengthening the message that Connecticut is not likely to meet many of its environmental goals.  Members also had specific suggestions for the indicators and the related text.  Mendenhall asked if nuclear energy should be mentioned in the discussion of energy; members suggested that it could be raised in the future as an issue for discussion.  Members asked for a new introduction to review.

Wagener said the May meeting would include a public forum, as arranged by VanCor.

Chairman Harrison adjourned the meeting at 11:30.