Responsibilities of the CEQ

The main responsibilities of the Council on Environmental Quality are described in Sections 22a-11 through 22a-13 of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS).
The Council’s responsibilities include:
  1. Submittal to the Governor of an annual report on the status of Connecticut’s environment, including progress toward goals of the statewide environmental plan, with recommendations for remedying deficiencies of state programs. In 2023, Public Act 23-76 was enacted that requires the Council to assess programs and measures of local governments implemented pursuant to CGS subsection (d) of Section 22a-244b.

  2. Review of state agencies’ construction projects.

  3. Investigation of citizens’ complaints and allegations of violations of environmental laws.

  4. Review of environmental impact evaluations that state agencies prepare for major projects under the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) (CGS Section 22a-1d).

  5. Publication of the Environmental Monitor (CGS Section 22a-1b), the site where all state agencies must post their notices required under CEPA including, but not limited to, scoping notices and notice of the availability of environmental impact evaluations. The Environmental Monitor also is the official publication for notice of intent by state agencies to sell or transfer state lands (CGS Section 4b-47).

  6. Participation in studies and working groups on environmental issues, as directed by the legislature, such as the Release-Based Clean Up Program Regulation Development (CGS Section 22a-134tt). In 2023, Public Act 23-204, Section 69 and Special Act 23-15 established a working group to study the State Historic Preservation Officer's role in administering historic preservation review processes. The Working Group membership included a representative from the Council. 
    Sections 22a-11 through 22a-13 of the Connecticut General Statutes
Sec. 22a-11. Council on Environmental Quality.There shall be a Council on Environmental Quality which shall be within the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for administrative purposes only. Said council shall consist of nine members, five to be appointed by the Governor, two to be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and two to be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate. No member shall be allowed to serve more than eight years of any twelve-year period. The Governor shall fill any vacancy by appointment for the unexpired portion of the term vacated. The chairman of said council shall be selected by the Governor. Members of said council shall receive no compensation for their services thereon, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses in the performance of their duties. Said council shall hold one meeting each month and such additional meetings as may be prescribed by council rules. In addition, special meetings may be called by the chairman or by any three members upon delivery of forty-eight hours' written notice to each member. Five members shall constitute a quorum and not fewer than three votes shall be required for any final determination of said council. The council may employ an executive director, exclusive of the provisions of chapter 67 and such additional staff and consultants as may be necessary to carry out its duties, within available appropriations.


Sec. 22a-12. Environmental quality report. Review of state agency construction plans. Exception. (a) The council shall submit annually to the Governor an environmental quality report, which shall set forth: (1) The status of the major environmental categories including, but not limited to, the air, the water and the land environment; (2) current and foreseeable trends in the quality, management and utilization of the environment and the effects of such trends on the social, economic and health requirements of the state; (3) the adequacy of available natural resources for fulfilling human and economic requirements of the state in the light of projected population pressures; (4) a review of the programs and activities of the state and local governments and private organizations, with particular reference to their effect on the environment and on the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources, including, but not limited to, programs and measures of local governments implemented pursuant to subsection (d) of section 22a-244b (Public Act 23-76); (5) a program for remedying the deficiencies of existing programs and activities, together with recommendations for legislation; and (6) the progress towards achievement of the goals and objectives established in the state-wide environmental plan.

(b) The council shall have the authority to require submission by all state agencies, at all stages of development, of construction plans for review and comment by the council which shall include, but not be limited to, all plans of the Department of Transportation which anticipate the paving or building upon land not previously paved or built upon, and location or expansion of noise-producing facilities such as airports; and all plans of the Department of Administrative Services which anticipate the paving or building upon land not previously paved or built upon, the construction of structures occupying a substantially greater air space than predecessor structures in the same location, and the location or expansion of noise or pollution-producing facilities such as heating plants, but which shall not include the conversion by The University of Connecticut of a commercial or office structure to an educational structure; provided the function of the council with respect to such plans shall be advisory and consultative only.


Sec. 22a-13. Citizen complaints.The council is empowered to receive and investigate citizen complaints alleging violation of any statute or regulation in respect to environmental quality. When the chairman of the council determines that matters alleged in a citizen complaint cannot be resolved by referring the complaint to another appropriate regulatory agency, he shall so inform the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection who may hold a hearing concerning such complaint, having given appropriate written notice and opportunity to be heard to all interested parties, and shall proceed thereon in accordance with the provisions of this title or the applicable provisions of those chapters or sections referred to in section 22a-6.