Our hearts go out to all of those whose lives have been battered by recent storms. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria - and the earthquake in Mexico - provided a stark reminder of the destructive force of extreme weather.
Here in Connecticut, we have been fortunate these past few years to avoid a hit by a major storm. We did, however, experience the impact of Irene and Sandy. These events focused us on efforts to increase our resiliency.
We've been working to update and strengthen building requirements, hardening infrastructure--including the electric grid and dams. We also work closely with our partners at the
Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) to help vulnerable communities along Connecticut's coast and inland waterways develop strategies to keep lives, property, and resources safe in the face of heavy winds and rain.
Please know that it is a top priority of DEEP and other state agencies to do all we can to protect the safety of this state and its residents.
Municipal Hurricane Preparedness Reminder 2017
Connecticut's Interagency Debris Management Task Force (DEEP WEED, ConnDOT, and DESPP DEMHS staff) recently e-mailed the following hurricane season preparedness reminder (for June 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017) to municipalities through the Connecticut Council of Small Towns and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities as well as the DEMHS Regional Coordinators and FEMA Region I:
- The updated Disaster Debris Management Plan and State Concept of Operations Plan and other information are now posted on DEEP's
Disaster Debris Management Preparedness
Pre- positioned Contracts
- FEMA requires competitive bidding procedures for procurement of disaster debris management and monitoring services. The State has pre-positioned disaster debris
contractors in place (if the towns choose to use them).
- DEEP will issue an
for the management of storm debris at temporary sites operated by or for municipalities at municipal facilities, municipally owned properties and properties under lease agreement to the municipality. The use of authorized Debris Management Sites is required for FEMA reimbursement.
Open burning of brush
by municipalities can only occur on municipally-owned land that has been approved as a solid waste disposal and/or recycling location. Also, a permit has to have been issued by DEEP's Air Program.
At the Waste Engineering and Enforcement Division Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 26, 2017, we will review the Municipal Hurricane Preparedness Reminder as well as hear a presentation from the Town of South Windsor on their preparedness effort that includes an updated Disaster Debris Management Plan and a site chosen for the temporary management of C&D resulting from a storm event.
Where Is Connecticut's Climate Headed?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Explorer shows projected changes in Connecticut's climate in the coming decades. The projections are based on two scenarios. In the "lower emissions" scenario, global emissions of heat-trapping gases would peak around the year 2040 due to concerted, aggressive world action and then decrease. In the "higher emissions" scenario, with considerably less aggressive action, they would continue to increase beyond 2040.
For Connecticut as for other states, the high-emissions scenario would bring dramatic changes. Summers would become much hotter. In Hartford County, the average annual number of days exceeding 95°F would jump from around 3 in the 1950s to around 35 in the 2090s - akin to the contemporary climate of South Carolina - driving up costs for cooling and creating a public health risk from heat waves.
The heating season would become considerably more moderate. In Hartford County, "heating degree days," a measure of how much we need to rely on furnaces and boilers to heat homes and commercial spaces, would drop from around 6,400 in the 1950s to around 3,900 in the 2090s - akin to the contemporary climate of North Carolina. The Global Warming Solutions Act calls for reducing Connecticut's greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. Averting the high-emissions scenario depicted by NOAA will require organized action globally.
Connecticut Joins Major National Climate Initiative
Connecticut has joined the
United States Climate Alliance
, a coalition of states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.
"Connecticut has been a national leader in combating climate change, and we have no plans of slowing down our efforts," Governor Malloy said. "In the absence of leadership from the White House in addressing climate change, it is incumbent upon the states to take action in order to protect their residents. We remain committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement because it is the right thing to do for not only the future of our state, but for the future of our planet."
With input from 14 participating states, the alliance also will act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions.
New Group Promotes Sustainable Business Across CT
Connecticut Sustainable Business Council
, a non-profit organization launched in late 2016, aims to "bring the state's sustainable business leaders together to learn, share best practices, connect to resources, and collaborate to advance sustainability."
The council's founding members are Connecticut Green Bank, EBP Supply Solutions, ESG Compass, MetroPool, Shipman & Goodwin, Synergis Zero Waste Group, UBS, and Uber. A number of other businesses and organizations have joined as members or partners.
"There hasn't been a like-minded forum for groups like us and businesses like us to come together to share best practices [and] advocate together for sustainability in the state and to promote it," said Mackey Dykes, Green Bank's vice president of commercial and industrial programs.
Energize CT Wins Two Major EPA Awards
The U.S. EPA has presented
with two high-profile awards this year. The agency honored the program's partners with its prestigious
Energy Star Partner of the Year Award
. The program, run by the state's major electric and natural gas utilities, was recognized for creating and promoting environmentally responsible energy efficiency initiatives.
EPA also recognized Energize CT's energy efficiency program for houses of worship with a
New England Environmental Merit Award
. The program has enabled scores of houses of worship in Bridgeport, New Haven, and Hartford to use EPA's Portfolio Manager (which tracks energy use), obtain professional energy audits, and identify high priorities for cost-effective efficiency upgrades.
Energize Connecticut supports 157 municipalities and tracks energy performance in nearly 3,000 Board of Education buildings across the state. The initiative has partnered with ENERGY STAR on numerous promotions designed to educate consumers and prompt smarter energy choices.
Final Draft State Water Plan Available for Review
Draft Connecticut State Water Plan
is now available for public review and comment. The Plan was drafted by the Water Planning Council, with assistance from stakeholders and the interested public, and aims to protect water quantity and quality for all of its current and future in-stream and out-of-stream uses as regulations, climate, and economic conditions are changing.
- The Plan provides a platform for consistent, informed decision making.
- The Plan reaffirms Connecticut's dedication to the highest standard of drinking water quality in the nation (Class A).
- Many river basins in Connecticut cannot satisfy all in-stream and out-of-stream needs all the time. The Plan offers ideas for understanding and improving this balance.
- While Connecticut leads the nation in protections of drinking water quality, it lags in its water conservation ethic. Outreach that builds on public water utility initiatives is one of the Plan's most important recommendations.
- The Plan advocates for the collection and use of scientific data, as well as centralized access to the data.
The comment period is open until November 20, 2017. For more information on the Plan and how to comment, go to
New Source Separated Organic Material Facility in CT
was passed that guarantees feedstock for potential composting or clean energy facilities. The intent of the law was to provide an incentive and encourage the development of food residual recycling facilities in Connecticut, thus opening opportunities for businesses to recycle food scraps. On February 21, 2017, the Department issued a permit to
Turning Earth Central Connecticut, LLC
("TECC") to construct and operate a source separated organic materials ("SSOM") composting facility using anaerobic digestion and aerobic composting to produce compost and renewable energy. The technology integrates anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting with no generation of digestate or waste water.
The facility is currently under construction. This is the third facility in Connecticut to use food waste as renewable energy. B & R Corporation (d.b.a. Quantum Biopower) has operated an
Anaerobic Digester in Southington, CT
since December 2016.
Please visit our
Food Waste Composting Facilities website
Biomedical Waste Facility in Connecticut
DEEP authorized the newly constructed
Future Healthcare Systems CT, Inc.
Biomedical Waste (BMW) receipt and processing facility to begin operations on August 15, 2017. The new facility will receive and process infectious waste, sharps, and animal derived waste and will provide job growth potential, reduce carbon footprint as opposed to out of state waste transport and create a competitive BMW disposal market for generators in CT. The Biomedical Waste Facility is the first of its kind in Connecticut.
Biomedical Waste (BMW) refers to any infectious, pathological and/or chemotherapy waste generated during the administration of medical care or the performance of medical research involving humans or animals. A typical "generator" of BMW is any person who owns or operates a facility that produces BMW in any quantity. This includes, but is not limited to, hospitals, laboratories, veterinarians, dental offices, skilled nursing facilities, and physicians' offices. Households are not regulated for biomedical waste.
Connecticut's Second Generation Nitrogen Strategy
DEEP recently presented the details of its Second Generation Nitrogen Strategy to address excessive nitrogen loading from point sources (wastewater treatment plants and stormwater), and nonpoint sources (septic systems and fertilizer use). This strategy includes a focus on embayments (i.e. coves, harbors, inlets) located along Connecticut's shoreline.
The strategy is intended to enhance implementation of the existing
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)
for nitrogen to Long Island Sound (LIS). The TMDL was developed in response to the occurrence of hypoxia (low levels of dissolved oxygen) in LIS. During the summer, bottom water of LIS is subject to hypoxia which is the result of excess nitrogen loading. The documented occurrence of hypoxia threatens fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life in LIS.
DEEP has partnered with the University of Connecticut's CLEAR Program to conduct outreach focused on nitrogen in coastal communities.
Diversion Regulation Amendment Passes
A change in Water Diversion Regulations proposed by DEEP to ensure that increased use of registered diversions into new or expanded service areas will not significantly impact the environment has been approved.
ered diversions were "grandfathered" when the re
quirements to obtain a permit for the diversion (withdrawal or transfer) of water were put in place in the 1980s. The grandfath
ered diversions were allowed to continue to operate without obtaining a permit and without the need to evaluate or mitigate the environmental impacts of that diversion.
The previous definition of "service area" in the regulations allowed increased use of registered diversions under certain circumstances, which could exacerbate any environmental impacts of the diversion. The change in regulation modified the definition of service area to be a service area as identified (1) within registration documents, (2) in a water supply plan submitted prior to October 1, 2016, or (3) an exclusive service area identified on the Department of Public Health's 2016 Public Water Supply Management Area maps. The amendment redefines service area as that in existence in 2016 to preserve existing conditions, but effectively limits further expansion and potential environmental harm. For more information, see the DEEP Water Diversion Program webpage.
New interactive CT Coastal Access Guide Map Launched
Thanks to a new internet technology, DEEP's recently updated
Connecticut Coastal Access Guide
now allows you to explore the Connecticut shore and search for coastal access sites via a map-based user-interface. Coastal communities and businesses may find this new version of the Guide a helpful resource to assist both residents and visitors in exploring Connecticut's beautiful shoreline. "How to Use the Guide" is located in the upper right section of the web page. Alternatively, enter the name of your destination in the search box in the upper left corner of the page to locate your area of interest.
Click on colored areas to identify DEEP-owned properties-or square, orange icons for more site information. Coastal communities and businesses may find this new version of the Guide a helpful resource to assist both residents and visitors in exploring Connecticut's beautiful shoreline.
CT Municipalities Address Phosphorus Limits
Several Connecticut municipalities are in the process of planning, designing and/or constructing upgrades for their sewage treatment plants (STPs). These upgrades are a result of the Phosphorus Reduction Strategy developed by DEEP, stakeholders and U.S. EPA to reduce phosphorus loadings to non-tidal surface waters.
Public Act 16-57
changed Connecticut General Statutes § 22a-478(c) (6) to encourage and assi
municipalities in making these significant investments in their STPs.
Now, municipalities with NPDES permits that limit monthly average effluent phosphorus to 0.31 mg/L are eligible to receive 50% grants for the phosphorus treatment portion of their plant upgrade, 20% grants for the remainder of the upgrade and low interest loans for the balance.
To qualify for this generous grant/loan, interested municipalities must enter into construction contracts for these upgrades before July 1, 2019.
Administration of this funding is being handled through Connecticut's
Clean Water Fund
Of the 11 municipalities potentially eligible for the 50% grant, two have already completed their plant upgrades (Cheshire and Bristol) and the remainder are in the planning and design process.
Design and construction costs for these projects are expected to range between $15M and $110M, and total more than $400M over the next five years.
Connecticut Celebrates National Drive Electric Week
In case you missed it, recently many people throughout Connecticut celebrated
National Drive Electric Week
. This nationwide celebration highlighted both the widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and the benefits of all electric and plug-in electric cars, trucks and motorcycles. Many colleges, universities, towns and workplaces held electric vehicle (EV) showcases and/or ride and drives and experienced large turnouts. Events such as these give residents and EV enthusiasts a place to talk to local EV dealers and owners in a relaxed setting about their vehicles and associated experiences with the convenience, low expense and ease of driving an electric car.
There are more than 5,000 electric vehicles registered in Connecticut with over
700 publicly available charging outlets
throughout the state. These numbers are growing and show that many Connecticut residents have found that an EV meets their transportation needs. If you are interested in hosting an EV showcase/ride and drive in the future, learning more about EVs and the benefits of driving electric, please visit
Ozone Season and Standard Update
season, from May 1- September 30, surface level ozone (smog) concentrations can reach levels that impact public health. As of September 13, air quality in Connecticut has exceeded the
federal health based standard
of 70 ppb (over an 8-hour period) on 20 days. In October 2015, the U.S. EPA tightened the health-based ozone standard from 75 ppb to 70 ppb to reflect a level that better protects public health with an adequate margin of safety. The U.S. EPA recently took action to delay the new standard to allow for additional research but recently they reversed that decision and are moving forward with the
ozone designation process
as scheduled. Designations are anticipated to be announced next month.
forms when air pollution from combustion sources like power plants and motor vehicles reacts in strong sunlight. Connecticut typically measures high ozone concentrations on very warm summer days, when temperatures are greater than 85°F and when wind patterns transport large amounts of air pollution into our state from the metropolitan Mid-Atlantic areas and large power plants in the Ohio River Valley. For a more information about ozone trends in Connecticut, please see
DEEP's Air Quality Trends-Ozone webpage
DERA Funding for Diesel Emissions Control Projects
In October, DEEP will be seeking proposals from municipalities, organizations, and individuals for environmental projects that cost-effectively reduce diesel emissions and must be implemented by August 31, 2018. DEEP anticipates receiving at least $183,000 in federal funds for the U.S.
Applicants should know that
Connecticut's Volkswagen (VW) Mitigation Program
will launch in 2018 with over $50 million for diesel reduction projects. While the VW incentives are potentially more generous, some clean diesel projects that are eligible for the State DERA Program, are not eligible for VW funding. Among these are:
- Replacement or repowering of agricultural equipment, construction equipment, transport refrigeration units (TRUs), stationary generators and pumps;
- Replacement, repowering or engine upgrades of commercial fishing vessels, river boats or long haul locomotives;
- Idle reduction technologies for long haul trucks, school buses, locomotives, and TRUs; and
- Emission controls (retrofits).
DEEP Releases New Home Heating Oil Video
DEEP puts a spotlight on the importance of keeping your home's oil system maintained with the release of a new educational video entitled, Prevent Home Heating Oil Leaks and Spills.
Most properly maintaine
d home heating oil systems never experience a release or spill but some do and the leaks can go undetected for years.
Unfortunately, if the oil contaminates soil and/or groundwater it can be very expensive for homeowners to
The best way to save money, help prevent leaks and spills and protect the environment is for homeowners to annually check their oil lines and oil tanks and work with a licensed oil service technician to identify whether upgrades to the tank, oil line, piping or fittings are needed.
Prevent Home Heating Oil Leaks and Spills is a useful tool for homeowners, landlords and local building officials to increase awareness of home heating system maintenance and what can happen if a system is not maintained. The video is also available on DEEP's VideoChannel. More information can be found on DEEP's Home Heating Oil Tanks webpage.
Exciting NEW Information About Fishing in CT
Fishy in Connecticut
is a new interactive fishing resource for novice and expert alike. It shows you that within a 60-minute drive you can be fly fishing the famed Housatonic or Farmington River, catchi
ng monster pike in Bantam Lake, taking jumbo carp from the Connecticut River, or be on Long Island Sound fishing for tasty favorites like fluke, porgy, black sea bass, striped bass, and bluefish. This interactive application has lots of great information, including interactive maps and links, providing all you need to know about Connecticut's fisheries. Go to
to find the link for
Fishy in Connecticut
Give it a spin and let us know what you think!
Resident Canada Goose Banding Completed
The DEEP Wildlife Division continued work on its resident
banding study. This year, volunteers and Division biologists captured geese at 40 sites--a minimum of three sites per county-in total, just over 2,000 geese.
The best time to capture Canada geese is when they undergo an annual wing feather molt and shed all of their flight feathers. During the period of feather regrowth, which lasts approximately four weeks, the birds are unable to fly. It is at this time that the geese can be corralled into a portable net placed along the shore of a waterbody. Once the birds are captured, their age and sex are determined and leg bands are attached (several adult geese were also fitted with yellow neck collars with distinct codes). Subsequent sightings of the marked birds provide valuable information on movement patterns, survival rates, and the population size of resident Canada geese.
Fall Hunting Season Update
||Hunting and Trapping Guide
Fall hunting seasons are just around the corner. The resident Canada goose season opened on September 1 and runs through September 30. Opening day for the statewide fall deer and turkey bow hunting seasons was September 15. Several other seasons will be opening as fall progresses. The best sources for season dates and information are the
2017 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide
2017-2018 Migratory Bird Hunting Guide
DEEP is reminding hunters and all outdoor users to respect the rights of others and be aware of all activities that may be occurring outdoors. Connecticut hunters have an excellent safety record, and awareness on the part of all outdoor users can help in our efforts to keep hunting safe for everyone. Peak hunting during the fall seasons typically occurs during early morning and late afternoon, and hunting hours are one half-hour before sunrise until sunset (unless indicated otherwise). Visit DEEP's website for Outdoor Safety Tips during the hunting season.
Don't Move Firewood: Protect Trees from Invasive Insects
Emerald ash borers, Asian long-horned beetles, and other highly invasive insects can be unknowingly spread from town to town, state to state, and country to country through the movement of firewood. State regulations limit the movement of all hardwood firewood within Connecticut. Movement of hardwood firewood into and out of state is more generally governed by
, the federal agency charged with plant and animal health. Both state and federal regulations are summarized in a series of
regarding the movement of firewood. When transporting firewood within Connecticut, the person moving the firewood must have in his or her possession a document stating the origin and destination of the firewood. This can be accomplished through the use of a
Self-Issued Firewood Transportation Certificate
Don't move firewood. Instead, buy firewood where you will burn it, purchase certified heat-treated firewood, or gather on site when
permitted, and do not bring home leftover firewood when traveling. You have the power to slow the spread of forest pests and protect the places you love. More resources about firewood and insect pests can be found on the
and from the
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Find CT Grown Forest Products with New Interactive Map
DEEP's Division of Forestry has created an interactive
Connecticut Grown Forest Products Map
for users to find where different types of
Connecticut forest products
are located. This map features the 23 Connecticut Grown certified vendors. Together, the vendors sell over 18 different Connecticut forest products. Specialty products, such as masts of tall ships and wooden boat timber, can also be found from specific vendors while using this map.
Connecticut is abundant in local forest products, which are encouraged and promoted through the Connecticut Grown Program. With just under 60% of all forested land covering the state, combined with an expanding residential population, sustainable and responsible long-term forest management is now more important than ever for the future of Connecticut's forests.
The DEEP is always looking for new Connecticut forest products producers to be registered with the Connecticut Grown Program. Those interested are encouraged to fill out an
CT DEEP has been working with CT Green Bank, Eversource and UI to assist skilled nursing facilities with energy efficiency and renewables.
The latest event, Summer Solar Fling, was held at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater New Haven which recently installed a solar carport that powers 50% of its electrical needs.
The JCC project was financed by Connecticut Green Bank's low-cost
C-PACE-secured power purchase agreement (PPA)
where the system is owned by a third-party and the JCC pays a monthly fee based on the amount of electricity used.
Attendees also heard from Curtis Packaging, a manufacturer in Sandy Hook CT, that also installed a solar array producing an average of nearly
950,000 kWh electricity annually as well as financed a natural gas conversion project, new energy efficient HVAC and lighting systems. The project was financed by the Green Bank's
over a period of 16 years and is expected to produce energy cost savings of $4.5 million over the life of the project. Presenters stressed the importance of first taking a holistic look at energy opportunities at your facility, including energy efficiency, as part of a solar project.
For more information, call CT Green Bank (860-258-7825) or 1-877 WISE USE (877-947-3873).
Circle Sustainability Award Winners
DEEP and the
Hartford Business Journal honored the 2017 Green
Circle Sustainability Award winners on June 8, 2017 at the CT Convention Center in Hartford. Projects
completed in 2016 were recognized in the Business, Government, Individual/Groups, Schools, and Housing sectors. In addition, two awards were presented for "Innovation."
The GreenCircle Award Program celebrates those who take a coordinated and holistic approach to reducing the environmental impact and resource demands of their operations and activities.
"Since the Agency launched the program 19 years ago, almost 1,200 individuals, businesses, schools and organizations have been recognized for preserving natural resources and protecting the quality of the state's air, water and lands," said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee."
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.