Water Related Events and Meetings Across Connecticut

Rivers Alliance of CT recently re-built our water-related events listings after a transition to a new website hosting provider. The new listings of events includes everything we listed on the old websites, but in what we hope is more useful format.  Here are our lists of events:

State Water Planning Meetings and Comment Opportunties

Get Wet Connecticut! (working title)

Paddle Events Across Connecticut


Oct
5
Thu
Rivers Alliance of CT Network Conference @ Leir Retreat Center
Oct 5 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Rivers Alliance of CT Network Conference

Leir Retreat Center, Ridgefield
October 5, 2017, 9 – 2 PM

If you plan to attend, let us know

Space limited. Registration required.
Contact Rivers Alliance at rivers@riversalliance.org
or 860-361-9349 to register.

The State Water Plan is at the forefront of discussions around the state. This conference will focus on the Plan and other water policy issues that will affect all Connecticut residents.

The agenda includes:

  • Latest news on the State Water Plan.
  • An Update on the proposed leasing of drinking water watershed lands for rock mining.
  • What’s in store for the next state legislative session, which starts in January.
  • Pesticides (herbicides) – What is a town’s authority regarding aquatic application?

Where: The Leir Retreat Center, 224 Branchville Road, Ridgefield, CT (click here for directions).

The event is free, thanks to our host and sponsor, the Leir Retreat Center.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Space is limited, registration is required. To register, email Rivers Alliance at rivers@riversalliance.org, or call 860-361-9341.

If you have an announcement you would like to make at the conference, please let us know as soon as possible. We will add you to the agenda. We limit announcements to less than 5 minutes each. We will also have tables for those who would like to bring information to distribute to the group.

We hope you can join us.

Oct
26
Thu
Public Informational Meeting on the Draft State Water Plan @ Earthplace Nature Discovery Center
Oct 26 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Public Informational Meeting on the Draft State Water Plan

*Hosted by Connecticut State Representative Jonathan Steinberg*

What water issues concern you the most? Can Connecticut do a better job on water conservation?

The Draft Connecticut State Water Plan is currently available to the public for review and comment. The state’s Water Planning Council is developing the State Water Plan to help planners, regulators, and lawmakers make decisions to help frame future water management policies, laws and regulations in the state that ensure a fair and effective balancing the needs of all water users while protecting this precious and valuable resource.

The public comment period will be open until November 20, 2017 to ensure residents and interested parties have ample opportunity to review the draft plan and provide comments.  A copy of the draft plan and instructions on how to provide comments can be found at www.ct.gov/water.

Water Planning Council calendar:  http://www.ct.gov/water/iCal/calendar.asp

  • Thursday, October 26th 6:30-8:30pm Location Earthplace, Westport  http://earthplace.org

10 Woodside Lane Westport, CT 06880   203-557-4400

Oct
30
Mon
State Water Plan Public Meeting @ DEEP
Oct 30 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The formal public hearing to receive comment on the draft State Water Plan f Monday, October 30 6:30-8:30 at DEEP, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT

There are a few more information meetings being planned around the state (Westport, Wallingford Nov 7, and an as-yet-to-be-determined Eastern CT location), and as those are firmed up, we’ll share the announcements with you.

Nov
8
Wed
Eastern Water Utility Coordinating Committee (WUCC) Meeting @ Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments
Nov 8 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Meeting Agenda of the Eastern Region WUCC
At the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments
5 Connecticut Avenue, Norwich, CT
November 8, 2017 at 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.
1. Welcome & Roll Call (5 minutes)
2. Approval of October Meeting Minutes (5 minutes)
3. Formal Correspondence (5 minutes)
4. Public Comment Period (10 minutes)
5. ESA Modifications Discussion / Update (5 minutes)
6. Integrated Report Topics (85 minutes)
 Potential Impacts of the Plan on Other Uses of Water Resources
 Regional Projected Service Population, Safe Yield, Excess Water
 Consistency with Other Planning Efforts
7. Other Business (5 minutes)

Nov 8 Wallingford Public Meeting on the State Water Plan @ Wallingford Town Hall
Nov 8 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Public Informational Meeting on the Draft State Water Plan

More information: http://www.ct.gov/water/cwp/view.asp?Q=586878

AGENDA TBD

Nov
20
Mon
STATE WATER PLAN PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ENDS
Nov 20 @ 3:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Please call Rivers Alliance 860-361-9349 or email  rivers@riversalliance.org for more information.

Jan
3
Wed
WPC Special Meeting (new location) @ PURA
Jan 3 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Special Meeting of the Water Planning Council

A Special Meeting of the WPC will be held  on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. 

The location of this meeting has been changed to:

State of Connecticut Department of Public Health
Katherine A. Kelley State Public Health Laboratory
395 West Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067

While this Special Meeting is open to the public, the public will not be invited to provide comment.

January 3, 2018 Agenda:

1.    Review the revised draft State Water Plan as updated by CDM-Smith in response to comments, including sections modified. Following this meeting, the final deliverable of the January 2018 State Water Plan will be finalized for submittal to the Connecticut State Legislature.

 While these Special Meetings are open to the public, the public will not be invited to provide comment

Previous Special meeting:  Friday, December 15, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m.

WPC calendar: http://www.ct.gov/water/ical/calendar.asp 

Jan
8
Mon
Water Planning Council Meeting @ PURA
Jan 8 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Check http://www.ct.gov/water/cwp/view.asp?a=4801&q=573636 for meeting agenda and minutes.

2018 Schedule of the State Water Planning Council Meetings

In accordance with the provisions of Section 1-225(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, the following is a schedule of the regular State Water Planning Council meetings for the year of 2018.

1:30 p.m.

Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
Ten Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051

MEETING DATES
January 8, 2018
February 6, 2018
March 6, 2018
April 3, 2018
May 1, 2018
June 5, 2018
July 10, 2018
August 7, 2018
September 11, 2018
October 2, 2018
November 6, 2018
December 4, 2018

SEE WPC Calendar:  http://www.ct.gov/water/iCal/calendar.asp

 

 

Jan
23
Tue
Water Planning Council (Rescheduled) Meeting @ Phone
Jan 23 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

RE:     Special Meeting of the Water Planning Council

A Special Meeting of the Water Planning Council (WPC) will be held on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at 10:30:00 a.m. at the offices of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, Connecticut.

The purpose of the meeting is to vote on the finalization of the Draft State Water Plan. The meeting will be open to members of the public, but participation will be limited to the members of the WPC.  For those not attending in person, the Call-In Number is 888-658-6260 and the Participant Code is 7094124.

Please write to the CT State Water Planning Council at wpc@ct.gov by the end of Monday, Jan 22 to re-emphasize your support for the inclusion of the principal that water is a public trust resource.

WPC Calendar:  http://www.ct.gov/water/iCal/calendar.asp

 

 

Jan
25
Thu
CTLCV Environmental Summit @ The Lyceum (NEW LOCATION)
Jan 25 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Are you ready for the upcoming legislative session? The Summit is a unique opportunity for environmental leaders, state legislators, and agency officials to discuss environmental priorities of the 2018 Connecticut General Assembly. This gathering will explain key issues and help prepare everyone for the work ahead.

To Register, visit: https://goo.gl/kLXLWt

Because of the extraordinary delay in wrapping up legislative business in 2017, we had to move the Summit into January (which means our usual venue at the Riverfront Boathouse was not available!) Please note that we are meeting at The Lyceum, just around the corner from the Capital and LOB.

If you are concerned about the environmental policies of our state, we invite you to be a part of this gathering. Space at The Lyceum is limited, so you must register if you plan to attend.

With environmental protection under assault in Washington, and gridlock blocking progress in CT, we must redouble our efforts to keep our environment safe. Now’s your chance to learn about issues that will be central to our efforts during the 2018 legislative session. Let’s be ready for the work ahead!

Click here for more information about the conference. 

Feb
20
Tue
WPC Advisory Group @ PURA
Feb 20 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Woodridge Lake Sewer Discharge Public Hearing @ Torrington City Hall Auditorium
Feb 20 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Woodridge Lake Sewer District Sewer Discharge Permit Filed

Informational Meeting & Public Hearing Scheduled

The Woodridge Lake Sewer District has filed its application for a sanitary sewer discharge permit which would allow them to connect to the City of Torrington sewer system via a proposed route along Route 4.   The stated reason for the application is “resolution of CT DEEP Consent Order”

As promised over the past several months, an informational meeting has been scheduled for the purposes of allowing DEEP, The Department of Public Health,  Woodridge Lake Sewer District, Torrington Water Company, Torrington Public Works Department, and the Torrington Water Pollution Control Department to provide vital information relative to the impacts this request will have on our system.

The City Council acting as the Water Pollution Control Authority is required by State law to hold a public hearing to allow the public an opportunity to submit comments before any decisions are made relative to the application.  This public hearing and the final determination must be made within 65 days of the application.  Should there be any delay in the process, the statute does allow for two extensions of additional 65-day periods for the Board to make it final determination.

The informational meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, January 31st at 6:30pm,  the Public Hearing will take place on Tuesday, February 20th at 6:30pm.  Both the informational meeting and public hearing will take place in the City Hall Auditorium, 140 Main Street.

See also the letter from Torrington Water to its customers, Register-Citizen article.

Mar
5
Mon
Woodridge Lake Sewer Discharge Hearing @ Torrington City Hall Auditorium
Mar 5 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Precedent-setting Dispute Re Sewer Line in Source-Water Lands

Please note that the next hearing will be held on Monday, March 5, 6:30 PM at the Torrington City Hall. The City Council will have the opportunity to ask DPH questions, hear from city staff in response to the questions asked and allow the applicant rebuttal. Any changes can be found on the City of Torrington website

Is it a good idea to run a new sewer line through land in the watershed of a reservoir or other drinking-water source?

If this land is owned by a water company, it is called Class I or II land, and it is strictly protected by statute.  Is it legal to run a new sewer line across or directly next to Class I or II land?

These questions are at the heart of a year-long controversy that has pitted the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) against both the Department of Public Health (DPH) and Torrington Water Co.  DEEP has proposed and promoted construction of  a sewer main system to connect wastewater managed by the Woodridge Lake Sewer District in Goshen to the City of Torrington’s  wastewater system for transmission to the Torrington treatment facility, which is in Harwinton, six miles away.  The sewer would be a force main (pressurized pipe). When Torrington Water Company discovered that the route would go through source-water land and impinge on protected land owned by the company, it launched an intense protest.  The company’s complaints were supported in significant part by Rivers Alliance and Connecticut Fund for the Environment. DPH concluded in a novel process that it DID have jurisdiction over the route and that the sewer line would pose a risk to clean water.  Nevertheless, DPH did support the DEEP proposed route but with numerous important conditions.  Torrington Water is still advocating for a different route, further away from source water.  Rivers Alliance supports local, on-site solution, as best option, and a different route as next best (click here for our testimony).  Oddly, the City of Torrington’s acceptance of the controversial route was never secured, and presently there is a continued hearing in Torrington.  It appears that the great majority of the many residents who attended the first night of the hearing opposed the idea of accepting sewage from Woodridge Lake (in Goshen).

Mar
14
Wed
Legislative Hearing on a Bad Bill @ Room 2B
Mar 14 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

River Alliance of CT > CT Water Legislation and Regulation > 2018 Legislative Session >

Mar 12, 2018

SB 427: AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC TRUST COMPONENTS OF THE STATE WATER PLAN

A strange, bad bill has popped up in the Environment Committee and is set for a public hearing on Wednesday, March 14. It is Bill No. 427 AAC Public Trust Components of the State Water Plan.  It changes the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), the bedrock statute protecting clean water and air. Many of you are aware that the principle that water is a public trust resource came under attack late last year during the final draft of the State Water Plan (which has now been delivered to the legislature).  This is the same attack but from a different direction (left field).  You can read on or skip to the end for instructions on submitting testimony.

Here’s the text of 427.  (The new language is underlined.)
“Section 1. Section 22a-15 of the general statutes [the Environmental Protection Act] is repealed and the following is substituted ….
It is hereby found and declared that there is a public trust in the air, water, except private drinking wells, and other natural resources of the state of Connecticut and that each person is entitled to the protection, preservation and enhancement of the same. It is further found and declared that it is in the public interest to provide all persons with an adequate remedy to protect the air, water, except private drinking wells, and other natural resources from unreasonable pollution, impairment or destruction.”

Here’s the Statement of Purpose.  (It is hard to deduce from the text.)
“To provide that private drinking wells are not held in the public trust and therefore not subject to regulation by the state water plan.”

Here’s Comment from Rivers Alliance.
1) The State Water Plan doesn’t do regulation.  Its recommendations are cautious, especially with regard to any change in regulations.

2) The public trust resource designated in existing law is water itself, not pipes, or wells, or pumps; but this bill only talks about wells.

3) It’s not scientifically possible to distinguish one part of groundwater from another part of groundwater.  Water is a continuum  —  above ground, under ground, through ground.  This bill is saying something like: The water in this glass is in the public trust except for the water in the middle of the glass.

4) What is the meaning of “private” wells?  Does it include privately owned wells, such as in well fields owned by private water utilities (e.g., Aquarion or Connecticut Water)?  Does it mean small wells owned by individuals?  Does it mean private wells owned by golf courses?  Or private wells owned by commercial water bottling companies?

5) The public trust principle, or doctrine, is embedded in law in various ways. It is akin to the principle that government is for the people. This bill says: government is for the people, except people who own wells.

6) It is true that, in fact, residents on private wells do not get the same level of protection and support for water quality and quantity that the state accords people using water from utilities.  Many of the citizens on private wells have been asking for the state to do more protection.

7) There are, of course, a few people who own wells who want to be free to use vast amounts of water at all times, even in a drought or when neighbors’ wells have run dry. These people do not want to be told that they are wasting a resource in the public trust. However, the General Assembly has been calling (much more forcefully than the State Water Plan) for a drought management plan to protect all residents.  No one is allowed to corner water (at least not in Connecticut). The state is responsible for managing this public trust resource for the public benefit. That’s why legislators work so hard on water policy.

Here’s How to Submit Testimony
Email your views to the Environment Committee in a word or pdf document to envtestimony@cga.ct.gov
The three chairmen are Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr., Sen. Craig Miner, and Rep. Mike Demicco.

Here’s a link to the committee membershiphttps://www.cga.ct.gov/env/ .  It’s always important to contact your own legislators:

The public hearing is: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 1:00 P.M. in Room 2B of the LOB. Send in your testimony by March 13.  And come to Hartford if you can.

Click here for all testimony on this bill.

Click here for the webpage for this bill.

Mar
20
Tue
Green SnowPro: Would it Work in CT? Webinar @ webinar
Mar 20 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

NH’s Green SnowPro: Would it Work in CT?

Tuesday March 20, 2:00 – 3:00 pm (note conflict with Water Planning Council Advisory Group, but CLEAR is very good at posting the recordings on their website/Youtube, so there will be opportunity to view it later.)

The State of New Hampshire has developed a novel way to provide for effective snow management and removal while also reducing impacts of chlorides on the environment. The Green SnowPro program provides training and certification in efficient and environmentally friendly winter maintenance practices for municipal, state, and private snow plow drivers. Certified Green SnowPro Drivers receive liability protection.

This webinar will highlight how the program was developed, how it works, and what kind of impact it has had. There will also be some discussion of efforts to try to adapt the model to CT.

Register:  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1597381876516203011

 

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10:00 am Celebrate National Public Lands Day @ Future Norwalk River Valley Trail
Celebrate National Public Lands Day @ Future Norwalk River Valley Trail
Sep 30 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Celebrate National Public Lands Day September 30th, 10AM-1PM Help Maintain the Hiking Trail and Restore Wildlife Habitat Along the Future Norwalk River Valley Trail In Ridgefield Volunteers will restore the hiking trail at the site …
10:00 am Paddle Great Barrington – A Historical Tour
Paddle Great Barrington – A Historical Tour
Sep 30 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Paddle Great Barrington – A Historical Tour
Saturday, September 30 – Paddle: Great Barrington – A Historical Tour Time: 10am – 3pm Trip Length: 6.6 miles. Level: Beginner Learn about the history of the area as we meander our way along the …