Your Environmental Connection

News for Connecticut's Businesses & Municipalities
February 2016
Message  from  
Commissioner Klee

When Governor Malloy addressed the General Assembly earlier this month. he had some tough budget news for state agencies.  The Governor  proposed closing a budget gap by reducing overall state agency spending by 5.75 percent. 
While the legislature has now just launched the process that leads to a new state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, we know the coming year will be a challenging one.
We will need to focus our resources carefully on core programs and services - and possibly stop doing some things we have historically done. We'll also have to continue finding more efficient ways to meet our responsibilities - through technology, online services, and LEAN projects.
I encourage all of you to keep on top of budget news - but remember, it is a long process and there will be many twists and turns before a final budget is adopted.
If you want to read the Governor's budget address and view budget information, you can find this material on his web site.
In This Issue



CIRCA Resilience Funding Available

The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) is a partnership of the University of Connecticut and CT DEEP. The mission of CIRCA is to assist Connecticut communities adapt to a changing climate and to enhance the resilience of their infrastructure. CIRCA is excited to announce two separate funding opportunities:
Municipal Resilience Grant Program:  Up to $100,000 is available to municipal governments and/or councils of government for initiatives that advance resilience, including the creation of conceptual design, construction (demonstration projects or other) of structures, or the design of practices and policies that increase their resilience to climate change and severe weather. This program is focused on implementation. Applications are due April 15, 2016.
Matching Funds Program: Up to $100,000 available to Connecticut municipalities, institutions, universities, foundations, and other non-governmental organizations for matching funds for projects that address the mission of the Institute. CIRCA will provide up to 25% of a primary sponsor's contribution. Requests are due March 15, 2016. Please see the funding programs' webpages for additional information and application materials.
Modified General Permit for Municipal Stormwater Systems
A modified General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4 General Permit) has been put in place and its requirements will take effect July 1, 2017.  The current MS4 General Permit has been extended to June 30, 2017.  No re-registration is required for this extension under the current MS4 General Permit.  Permittees must continue implementing their Stormwater Management Plan, conduct annual sampling and submit their annual reports.
This General Permit sets requirements for the operation and maintenance of municipal stormwater systems.  The modified permit contains new requirements aimed at better protecting the quality of the state's waters.  Additional information on the modified General Permit can be found on the municipal stormwater webpage .
Stormwater Permitting Process Going Paperless

In an effort to expedite and improve the permitting process, the stormwater industrial and construction general permit applications can now be filed electronically through DEEP's e-Filing system known as ezFile. The ezFile system is the convenient and secure way to manage your environmental permits and notifications. Some of the advantages of the new system are:
  • submit completed applications and make payments securely online
  • track filing status and receive automatic e-mail confirmations
  • information will be saved to make re-registration a quick and easy process
  • GIS capabilities are built in the forms to notify the user of what will be required based on the discharges and site location
  • receive validations throughout the process to ensure an accurate and complete submission
  • electronic filing reduces the amount of paper needed for submittals, which conserves resources and has a smaller environmental footprint
Visit DEEP's ezFile system and create your account today. If you have any questions regarding the new system, please do not hesitate to contact the Stormwater group.
ezFile for Radioactive Material & Industrial X-Ray Devices

Businesses that own or operate radioactive material and industrial x-ray devices (per Sec. 22a-148 of the Connecticut General Statute (C.G.S.)) or use X-Ray devices for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes (per Sec. 22a-151 of the C.G.S.) are responsible for registering their equipment with DEEP prior to these sources being operated, handled, used, stored or manufactured. Radioactive Material & Industrial X-ray registrations must be submitted annually between October 1 and December 31 for the following year. Diagnostic and Therapeutic x-ray device registrations must be submitted bi-annually between February 1 and April 30 in even numbered years.
To make the registration process more convenient for businesses, DEEP's ezFile system accepts Medical X-Ray and Radioactive Material applications/registrations. For further information or if you have questions, please contact the Radiation Division at 860-424-3029 or visit DEEP's Radiation website
Recycling Grant Funding Update

Since last summer, DEEP has awarded fourteen communities more than $105,000 in funding for local waste reduction, reuse, and recycling programs.  DEEP's Recycling Incentive Grants Program is part of an overall focus on a 21st century materials management strategy that transforms the way Connecticut manages trash and recycling. The goals are to reduce the volume of trash that must be disposed of by doubling the state's recycling rate to 60% by 2024, and reclaiming more materials of value from the waste stream. Through this approach we can reduce the environmental impacts and costs associated with waste disposal, conserve resources, and create new "green" jobs in our state.
Additional recycling funding is available.  Municipalities and regional entities may apply for Unit-Based Pricing (UBP) Program grants for implementing a new or expanding an existing program (awards up to $50,000) and Waste Reduction Initiatives grants for improving waste reduction and recycling programs (awards up to $20,000).  T he deadline for the UBP Program and Waste Reduction Initiatives grants is ongoing and grants will be awarded on a first-come first-serve basis for as long as funds are available.

DEEP recently received applications for Recycling Rewards which compensate municipalities for outstanding waste reduction and recycling programs.  Announcements of awards will be made in Spring 2016. Visit DEEP's Municipal Recycling Resource Center or contact Jennifer Weymouth for more information on the grants.
Draft Strategy for Material Management Released

DEEP is developing a roadmap to achieve the state's vision for 60 percent diversion of materials from disposal by 2024. The plan, the CT Comprehensive Material Management Strategy (CMMS), will take the place of the state's current Solid Waste Management Plan, which was last updated in 2006. The past decade has seen significant changes in the state's material management system, including new recycling mandates, new product stewardship programs, and changes in the economics of waste-to-energy and recycling. The CMMS accounts for these changes, as well as recent studies of the statewide composition of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and Construction and Demolition Waste (C&D).
The CMMS focuses on three main objectives central to achieving the 60 percent diversion goal: Connecticut must improve the performance of municipal recycling systems, increase compliance with mandatory recycling provisions, develop and improve recycling and waste conversion technologies, and corporations that produce and market products must share responsibility for stewarding those materials in an environmentally sustainable manner.   The draft strategy is available for public comment through April 8, 2016. More information can be found on DEEP's CMMS webpage or contact Lee Sawyer.
50 Million Pounds of Unwanted Electronics Recycled

DEEP has published its 2015 annual report containing measures and goals for implementing the Connecticut's state-wide electronics recycling program.  Under the state's Electronics Recycling Law, residents can bring unwanted computer equipment and televisions to more than 160 approved locations across the state, including municipal transfer stations, various retail stores and not-for-profit centers. According to reports provided by the state's approved electronic recyclers, Connecticut's program has collected more than 50 million pounds of equipment since the program's inception in 2011, resulting in the recycling of 2.1 million pounds scrap metal and 1.5 million pounds of plastic. This program is the result of one of several successful Extended Producer Responsibility laws requiring manufacturers to pay for the recycling of their products - collectively saving municipalities over $830,000 in avoided disposal costs.
However, a recent poll indicated that 66% of Connecticut residents did not know where to go to recycle electronics.  The state, municipalities and recyclers share in the responsibility to improve public awareness and participation in the program. DEEP has a humorous, yet informative, public service announcement that you are free to use to help get the information out to more people: YouTube versions, 30 sec. DEEP Website version. For more information, visit or contact Mark Latham.
150 Years of Natural Resource Conservation in Connecticut          

DEEP's Bureau of Natural Resources is celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2016. Joining in the celebration are the Divisions of Wildlife, Inland Fisheries, Marine Fisheries, Forestry, and the Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police, as well as many partners. Throughout the year, we will look back at our history and also look ahead to the future of natural resources in our state. We will highlight efforts taken throughout the past 150 years to conserve and enhance our fish, wildlife, and forests for all to use and appreciate. Follow along with the celebration and participate in special events to be held year-long. Check out our new video and visit our CT Fish and Wildlife Facebook page often to keep up-to-date on the celebration.
Seeking Nominations for State Greenway Designations 

DEEP and the Connecticut Greenways Council are soliciting nominations for official greenway designations.  Greenways are an integral part of any community, offering recreational opportunities, providing alternate transportation options, helping to preserve the environment, and supporting economic development.  They can make a community a more attractive place to live by connecting living spaces with the environment, and they preserve history and cultivate town pride. An official designation by the Greenways Council recognizes a greenway as an open space that not only meets the definition, but also enhances the community and is supported by local government initiatives.  Designated greenways, both for recreation and resource protection, will be listed in a subsequent revision of the State Plan of Conservation and Development and may receive increased consideration for a variety of grants.  There are currently 75 designated greenways in Connecticut.  The deadline for the submission of the nomination form is April 29, 2016.
Grant Opportunity to Address Nonpoint Source Water Pollution

The DEEP Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) Management Program is currently accepting proposals through its Section 319 grant program to address nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution issues.  The primary focus of the grant program is to address NPS pollution impacts to waterbodies listed as impaired in the 2014 State of Connecticut Integrated Water Quality Report. This matching grant program provides 60 percent of project funding, and the recipient must provide a 40 percent cash or in-kind match.  Funding for the grant is provided to DEEP by the U.S. EPA through Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act. Funds can be passed on to communities, local conservation groups, and other organizations for NPS projects, plans, and statewide efforts.  Proposals may be submitted by any interested public or private organization and must be received electronically by February 29, 2016.  See the DEEP website for details.
Connecticut to Host NEIWPCC Conference

The 27th Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference for the New England states and New York will be held on April 20-21, 2016 at the Hilton in Hartford, Connecticut. This conference, coordinated by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), in partnership with its member states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has become the premier forum for sharing information about nonpoint source pollution (NPS) issues and projects in this region. DEEP is working with NEIWPCC to host this year's conference in Connecticut.  This event brings together those involved in NPS pollution management, including participants from state, federal, and municipal governments, private sector, academia, and watershed organizations.  The 2016 sessions will reflect the theme:  Doing More with Less: Tools for More Effective NPS Management.  Please save the date on your calendar and check the NEIWPCC conference website for details, including early bird registration
Outreach Video Available to Promote Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are rapidly becoming a practical choice for many Connecticut drivers.  To help get the word out to drivers, DEEP has released a   new video  explaining the benefits of owning an EV and encouraging everyone to visit their local dealer to test-drive an electric car. DEEP is working with partners to play this video at different venues across the state.  We ask your help in urging businesses, municipalities and auto dealers to run this video and show everyone how rewarding the EV experience can be.   
The new EV video is available on  YouTube o r it can be viewed from the  DEEP website . Other formats of the video are available by request and serve as free outreach material for all to use. For those that would like to add a customized message or advertisement to the end of the video, please contact   Judith Prill.
The Global Climate is Changing, and so is Connecticut's
This article begins a series on Connecticut's changing climate and its implications for municipalities and businesses.

Average global temperatures have increased about 1.5°F over the past several centuries as greenhouse gases have begun altering the climate system. Surface temperatures have risen - sometimes more rapidly, sometimes more slowly - at the vast majority of weather stations around the world and across the United States. This warming has been recorded in urban areas and rural areas, on shorelines and on mountaintops, in forests and in deserts. These changes often have been especially pronounced since the 1970s. (See: U.S. EPA, Climate Change Indicators in the United States.) The chart below is based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data for the Hartford area over the past 110 years.
Click on image to enlarge
Connecticut, like virtually everywhere else on the planet, is becoming markedly warmer. As shown in this chart, the state's average annual temperatures since 1970 have been distinctly higher than those that prevailed during the first seven decades of the 20th century - and are rising sharply.  Connecticut's seasons have shifted in ways that reflect the larger changes occurring on the global scale: warmer winters, hotter summers, milder springs and autumns. And here as elsewhere around the world, record high temperatures are becoming more frequent, while record low temperatures are becoming less frequent. For more information on climate changes and its impacts, visit DEEP's webpage.
New Requirements in Air Emissions General Permit

The 2015 General Permit to Limit Potential to Emit from Major Stationary Sources of Air Pollution (GPLPE) was issued on November 9, 2015. The 2015 GPLPE has several new requirements as a result of feedback from EPA and interested parties. Most notable among these changes, is a two-tiered emissions limitation structure of less than 50% of the Title V thresholds or up to, but no more than, 80% of the Title V thresholds; excluding GHG that shall be limited to less than 100% of the Title V threshold.

Facilities previously registered under the 2010 GPLPE or any others with emissions profiles that are eligible, are encouraged to carefully review the 2015 GPLPE and consider its applicability to their facility. The GPLPE application form ( Word , PDF) and instructions are available on DEEP's Air Emissions Permits webpage and DEEP staff are available to assist facilities, as they consider their options.  For additional information on the GPLPE go to:  What's New in Air Permitting?
Public Notification of Wastewater Discharge NonCompliance

Under the Clean Water Act's National Pretreatment Program, EPA's regulations (40 CFR 403.8(f)(2)(viii)) requires regulatory authorities to provide public notification regarding wastewater discharge permittees that have attained a status of Significant Noncompliance ("SNC").  A permittee is in SNC if its violation(s) meet(s) certain outlined criteria. These criteria vary depending whether or not permittees are categorized as Significant Industrial Users. SNC is based on: chronic violations for the same pollutant parameter; technical review criteria violations for the same pollutant parameter; monthly discharge monitoring reports; failure to meet compliance schedule milestones; failure to accurately report noncompliance; imminent endangerment to human health, welfare or to the environment; failure to develop and/or follow best management practices; any other violation as defined at the Department's discretion. DEEP will also review effluent exceedances, historic data, and enforcement actions, if any.
DEEP will be compiling information to determine which pretreatment permittees attained SNC status during calendar year 2016. The list of these permittees will be announced and concurrently posted on the DEEP website by July 1, 2017. All questions should be directed to Mariana Miller.
EPA Issues Cleanup Decision for Housatonic River PCBs

In September 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its Intended Final Decision for cleanup of Housatonic River PCBs, for the "Rest of River" section which stretches from Massachusetts through Connecticut, and a Community Update which summarizes this document.  EPA considered public comments (including those from CT DEEP) on its Proposed Cleanup Plan.   General Electric (GE) is disputing the Intended Final Decision, while still working with EPA, Connecticut and Massachusetts through a mediated negotiation process.  A series of flow charts has been developed to explain the dispute resolution and appeals process, with regard to reaching a final cleanup decision.
PCBs were released from the former GE transformer manufacturing facility in Pittsfield, MA.  Water quality in the Housatonic River in Connecticut is impaired due to PCBs and fish consumption advisories have been issued. This remediation action has implications for communities and businesses along the entire length of Housatonic River in Connecticut.  

Housatonic River: "Rest of River" is divided in reaches (EPA map)

Click on image to enlarge. 

The next Citizens Coordinating Council (CCC) meeting is scheduled for February 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm at Lenox Library, Lenox, MA with another meeting planned for Connecticut in April. For more information, visit EPA's GE-Pittsfield/Housatonic River Site website. Click on image to enlarge.
Water Reuse Case Studies Available

DEEP has issued permits for a handful of water reuse projects and recently highlighted two in case studies which are available on our website. The ability to use reclaimed water comes with many daily monitoring requirements and very stringent conditions.  The treatment systems provide a very highly advanced level of disinfection that includes filtration, ultraviolet disinfection and chlorine and a separate piping system.  The piping is colored purple so that the reclaimed water can be easily identified. The  Golf Courses at Lake of Isles  are  featured since they are reusing close to 1 million gallons of water per day to maintain their greens during peak watering season, rather than watering with its own potable water supply.  During the past 5 years, approximately 228 million gallons of water has been reclaimed.  
The other case study features Water's Edge Resort and Spa located in Westbrook, where over about 1 million gallons a year of recycled water is being used for toilet flush water rather than using drinking water for this purpose.  Also, a unique closed-loop system is being used for laundry operations, reducing the total gallons of fresh water that would be needed by approximately 1.5 million gallons annually.
State Park Competition Re-ignited for 2016

The Connecticut State Park "The Sky's the Limit" hiking challenge program produced unexpectedly excellent results in its 2015 initial season. The concept was to motivate state residents to explore a variety of state parks on their own time, thematically all with scenic vistas, and have their pictures taken with the appropriate park signage to document their statewide explorations. Parks offered 14 different sites of which 10 had to be visited to be a contestant. All the successful contenders received an oval medallion and certificate for completing the challenge. On January 1, 2016, fifty of the hundreds of successful participants were randomly selected to receive a hand-carved hiking staff for their efforts on which to mount their new medallion.
Because of the overwhelming program success in 2015, the program will be continued into the 2016 season. The destinations for this year will be announced on February 14th.  Visit the Sky's the Limit Web page to review the scenic peak destinations from the 2015 challenge and be sure to visit the page later this month to learn about this year's destinations
Connecticut's Wildlife Action Plan Receives Federal Approval

DEEP recently received federal approval of Connecticut's revised Wildlife Action Plan (WAP), the blueprint for proactively conserving our fish and wildlife, including their habitats, for the next decade. The approval of the WAP by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service builds on the knowledge gained over the last 10 years since the original Wildlife Action Plan was developed and establishes a framework for collaborative conservation efforts by many partners at local, statewide, and landscape scales. Approval of the plan also allows Connecticut to remain eligible to receive federal funding through the State Wildlife Grants Program for wildlife management and conservation projects. The WAP revision was completed by DEEP with the assistance of numerous scientific experts and conservation organizations throughout Connecticut.
Forest Action Plan Latest Tool for Protecting CT's Forests

In 2010, the DEEP Division of Forestry completed the Connecticut Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy, now known as the Connecticut Forest Action Plan . This plan was required by the U.S. Forest Service and described and analyzed the current conditions of Connecticut's forests, identified issues and challenges facing these landscapes, and laid out a set of visions for the future of Connecticut's forests and strategies and action steps to meet these visions. In 2015, the Division of Forestry completed an internal review of the 2010 Forest Action Plan to make sure the plan was relevant and also describe some success stories related to the U.S. Forest Service's national priorities. The Forest Action Plan is a useful tool to try to best manage Connecticut's ever-changing forested landscape.
CT Project Director for NPS Rivers & Trails Program Retires

After 21 years as Connecticut project director for the National Park Service - Rivers & Trails Program, John Monroe is retiring.  Between 1995 and 2016, John provided guidance and technical assistance to communities and groups across our state on 32 discrete land and water trail-related projects.   John's efforts have led to increased and improved opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors and gain a greater appreciation of nature and the environment.  While we are sad to see a friend and colleague with John's passion, dedication and expertise depart from public service, we greatly appreciate all he has done for Connecticut, and wish him all the best in his retirement.
John Monroe kayaking on the Quinebaug River

HVA Developing Watershed Plan for Still River

The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) is in the process of developing a watershed based plan to address nonpoint source (NPS) water quality impairment issues affecting the Still River in the greater Danbury area.  The Still River is a tributary to the Housatonic River, and its watershed encompasses portions of eight municipalities, including:  Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Redding and Ridgefield.  HVA is developing the plan in consultation with the watershed municipalities and other important stakeholders.
Still River Watershed - Streams and Impacts (Map courtesy of: Housatonic Valley Association) Click on image to enlarge.

The goal of the plan is to identify sources of NPS impairments and develop strategies to address these sources.  This plan can then be used by watershed communities and other stakeholders as a fundraising tool and long-term roadmap for addressing water quality impairments within the Still River watershed in order to clean up the river -- restoring its value as a community amenity. Funding for the project is provided, in part, by the DEEP NPS Pollution Management Program through a U.S. EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grant.  Visit the website created by HVA to learn more about the Still River Watershed and, more specifically, watershed management planning efforts.
American Witch Hazel - The Connecticut Connection

The November/December 2015 issue of Connecticut Wildlife magazine , which is published by the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources, features an article on American witch hazel , a common and unique plant that is found in Connecticut's forests. Many interesting stories and uses are associated with witch hazel. The best known use is as an herbal remedy to treat insect bites, colds, muscle sprains, skin irritations, and more. This remedy was originally brewed by New England's Native Americans from the bark and twigs of the witch hazel plant, and its use to treat a variety of medical maladies was adopted by the American settlers. The "Connecticut Connection" comes in here - the witch hazel industry that we know today began in Essex in the mid-1800s as the Dickinson Company. The company, now known as American Distilling, is currently located in East Hampton, where it produces almost the entire world's supply of witch hazel every year .
New DEEP Video on Reducing Paint Waste

Watch Quinn's (the 5th grader who joined the Wastebusters in their most recent episode) video blog on how you can "paint smarter."  He gives tips on how to calculate how much paint to buy, the correct way to store it, and where to get rid of any unwanted paint.  View the video from  DEEP's video library or on YouTube. Please feel free to share the video or embed it on your website.

Need to contact DEEP? Find the most up-to-date phone numbers for our program areas, a list of who to contact to report environmental concerns or problems, an A to Z subject directory, and other information about our agency on our Contact Us webpage.