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Your Environmental Connection

News for Connecticut's Businesses & Municipalities
   July 2015
Message  from  
Commissioner Klee

With the outstanding weather we are enjoying this summer, consider spending the day at one of our 107 state parks or 32 state forests for swimming, hiking, boating,  fishing, picnicking...or simply enjoying the scenery and relaxing in the great outdoors. 

 

If you need some help deciding which one to visit, check our newly updated State Parks webpage.  It's now easier for you to locate and learn about our parks and forests, follow the latest news, and view videos highlighting the wide variety of recreational opportunities. 

 

For the "goal minded" among you, also take a look at our Sky's the Limit hiking challenge.   By participating in this challenge, you can hike to some of our state's best vistas....and possibly win a prize for your efforts. 

 

With the crush of daily life and the lure of electronic gadgets - from television to tablets to cell phones - it is sometimes difficult for us all to get outside and enjoy the world of nature.  It is critical to our health and well-being to do so - and especially beneficial for youngsters.  So gather up your children or your nephews and nieces or some neighborhood kids and head out to a state park this summer.  You'll be glad you did.

 

Rob

In This Issue




 

 
 
 


New GP for Commercial Recyclable Materials Facilities

 

There will be an informational meeting regarding the proposed General Permit to Construct and Operate a Commercial Facility for the Management of Recyclable Materials and Certain Solid Wastes ("Commercial GP") on Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at DEEP Headquarters in Hartford. View Public Notice 

 

The Commercial GP will allow for more streamlined and clearer management of various recyclable items and other solid waste by commercial facilities.  It will provide opportunities for the development of small businesses, job creation, and help to achieve many of the goals outlined in CT's Solid Waste Management Plan, including 60% diversion of solid waste by 2024.  The Commercial GP provides best management practices for certain types of contractors conducting activities that have the potential to create environmental and public health concerns (e.g., asbestos contractors and landscaping companies). If you have any questions regarding the meeting, contact Frank Gagliardo, 860-424-3130.

Public Comment Sought on Proposed Stream Flow Classifications

Chatfield Hollow Brook, Killingworth

 

DEEP is currently soliciting comments on proposed stream flow classifications for the South Central Coastal River Basin in accordance with the Stream Flow Standards and Regulations (Regulations of CT State Agencies, Section 26-141b-5) and as per the public notice. Public information sessions were held on June 9, 2015 in North Haven, CT.  DEEP is accepting information or written comments on the proposed streamflow classifications until August 21, 2015. Written comments may be submitted to deep.streamflowclass@ct.gov, or may be mailed to: Robert Hust, Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, Connecticut, 06106-5127.

 

The proposed stream flow classifications were developed using known information on factors indicative of the degree of human alteration of natural stream flow, environmental flow needs and existing and future needs for public water supply. The stream flow classification will determine flow management goals and applicable flow standards for each stream segment. Additional information on the Stream Flow Standards and Regulations and on the classification process is available on DEEP's website.

Grant Funds Available for Marine Pumpout Programs

 

More than $1 million in federal funds are available for boat sewage disposal facilities, or pumpout stations, on Long Island Sound and Candlewood Lake for the 2016 boating season.  The program is administered by DEEP with a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Clean Vessel Act Program.  All recreational pumpout facilities in Connecticut are now offering free service to boaters.

 

DEEP is seeking grant proposals from owners and operators of public or private marine facilities that wish to install a new marine sewage disposal facility (MSDF); facilities with existing MSDFs in need of substantial repairs or upgrades; and from those seeking funding to operate new or existing MSDFs, including pumpout boats and central vacuum pumpout systems which are incorporated within the marina or boatyard dock system.  Grant proposals must be received by 4:30 pm. Thursday, August 20, 2105 to be considered eligible for this round of grant funding. More information

Free Fishing Opportunities

 

To connect people with outdoor activities and Connecticut's natural resources, DEEP is offering several opportunities for people to try fishing for free. DEEP is confident that as people try fishing and visit the state's many lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and Long Island Sound, they will experience the many benefits fishing offers and will become hooked. On Free Fishing Day (May 9), over 1,400 people attended the No Child Left Inside and CARE family fishing day held at Gay City State Park in Hebron. Well-attended satellite events also were held at Meriden's Hubbard Park and Wilton's Merwin Meadows Park.

 

This past Father's Day (June 21) was the first of two free fishing license days where anyone can try fishing just by obtaining a free one-day license - and five hundred people obtained a license. The second day will be August 15 and the licenses will be available starting on July 25 at many town halls, bait and tackle shops, or through DEEP's online sportsmen licensing system. Connecticut has just about every type of fishing within 25 miles of most residents.

Draft 2015 Wildlife Action Plan Available for Review

 

DEEP's draft 2015 Wildlife Action Plan is available for public review and comment. Connecticut's plan has been revised to set priorities for the next 10 years. It outlines actions that agencies, conservation organizations, towns, landowners, and others can take to protect habitat and address the needs of fish and wildlife with the greatest conservation needs.  A key goal of the plan is to "keep common species common." Public input will be accepted through August 21, 2015.

CHEAPR Funds Available to Purchase/Lease Clean Vehicles 

The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) offers rebates of up to $3,000 on a first-come, first-served basis for Connecticut businesses and municipalities who purchase or lease a new eligible battery electric (BEV), fuel cell electric, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PEV). There are currently over 15 eligible vehicles available and the list continues to grow as car manufacturers release new models.  

 

Program funding is limited so now is the time to buy or lease an eligible vehicle from your local Connecticut new car dealer. As an added bonus, if you decide to incorporate a PEV or BEV into your municipal or company fleet you will be helping Connecticut meet its clean air and energy goals and at the same time save money on your fuel expenses.   If you have any questions please view our Frequently Asked Questions webpage or contact us at cheapr@energycenter.org. 

Hydrogen Fueling Stations (H2Fuels) Grant

 

EVConnecticut is now offering a Hydrogen Fueling Stations (H2Fuels) Grant. The grant is being administered through the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc and will award up to $450,000 to develop and operate two publicly available hydrogen-fueling stations in the greater Hartford area.

            

Developing hydrogen fueling stations for public and private fleets as well as individuals, further demonstrates Connecticut's commitment to home grown industry while at the same time providing infrastructure necessary to expand the number of zero emission vehicles on the road. More vehicle and energy choices provide consumers with an expanding array of options while also helping to build jobs in a new sector and lower air pollution. For more information about the H2Fuels Grant Solicitation released on July 21 and related program documents, please visit EVConnecticut.     

Free EV Workplace Charging Workshop

 

Workplace charging is an important way to support the growth of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). If you are an employee or employer interested in developing a workplace charging program at your facility, join us for a workplace charging workshop organized by DEEP and hosted at The Hartford, Tower Building, 22nd floor on Monday, August 3, 2015 from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

 

This no-cost workshop is intended for sustainability managers, facilities managers, transportation planners, human resources managers and others who are interested in learning more about providing EV charging stations for their organization's employees. The workshop will provide participants with a general introduction to PEVs and the commitment needed to install and operate a workplace charging station. Participants will also hear from employers who offer workplace charging and learn how it can serve as a valuable employee incentive, complement sustainability efforts and signal leadership. The agenda for the workplace charging workshop can be found on EVConnecticut's Workplace Charging Webpage. Space is limited so please register in advance by contacting EVconnecticut@ct.gov.   

New Deputy Commissioner at DEEP

 

DEEP recently named Mike Sullivan as the Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Quality. As Deputy, Mike leads the three bureaus on DEEP's regulatory side - Water Protection and Land Reuse, Materials Management and Compliance Assurance, and Air Management. Earlier in his career, Mike worked as an attorney in DEEP's Office of Legal Counsel and as Director of Permitting and Enforcement in DEEP's Air Bureau. Mike's priorities are to continue to streamline the permitting process, strengthen the enforcement and compliance assurance activities, transform the regulatory branch of the agency and build on the success of DEEP's LEAN program.  

 

Prior to joining DEEP, Mike served as Senior Attorney for the University of Connecticut. Before that he was the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs at the Office of Policy and Management. He had previously worked in the Attorney General's Office at the University of Connecticut, specializing in defense litigation for the University.

Mattress Recycling Helps CT Rest Easy

 

As a result of mattress stewardship legislation passed last year, the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) was formed and an implementation plan was created, and as of May 1, 2015, all purchases of mattresses have an additional charge at the point-of-sale to pay for the program. MRC contracts with Recyc-Mattresses, East Hartford and Park City Green, Bridgeport to recycle our mattresses, which entails dismantling to capture metal, foam, cotton, polyester, wood and miscellaneous textiles (see photo above for example). Municipalities or businesses, such as hotels, motels, hospitals, colleges or boarding schools, can participate in the program. It is not mandatory to participate, but recycling old mattresses should reduce costs. MRC pays for the tipping fee to recycle the mattresses from a charge consumers now pay at point of purchase. Municipalities may also get free transportation.

 

Connecticut residents can participate in their town program or self-haul their mattress to one of the participating mattress recycling companies. Contact your local recycling coordinator to see if your town is participating. If individuals self-haul to a local recycler, MRC offers $2 per mattress (limited to 4/person/day; 8/person/year). More information is on the Mattress Recycling Council website. Contact Justine Fallon of the MRC for more information on how your municipality or business can participate.

Proper Management of Renovation and Demolition Projects

 

Businesses often engage in renovation and demolition of their own properties, or the properties of clients. Municipalities, too, engage in renovation and demolition of their own properties, and also oversee private projects within their jurisdictions (e.g., by issuing demolition permits). Renovation and demolition can trigger several different environmental, health, and safety ("EH&S") requirements. Care must be taken to ensure compliance with these requirements, since failing to do so can result in project delays, cost overruns, and enforcement by local, state, or federal regulatory agencies.

 

The key to ensuring compliance is proper project management. In particular, EH&S requirements should be addressed in the earliest planning stages of the project. Environmental surveys to identify hazardous materials should be performed as early in the project as possible. Bidding and contracting should properly account for EH&S issues. And, staff that are knowledgeable of EH&S requirements should be present during work to ensure it is done properly. For more information on proper project management, see the DEEP handout "Strategies for Success." DEEP also has a sample EH&S Checklist that may be used to ensure compliance. Many other helpful documents are available on the DEEP webpage "Information for Contractors in the Construction Trades."

Removal of Lead-Based Paint

Sanding can release toxic dust if proper abatement procedures are not followed. Photo: Air Quality Canada 

 

Lead was first added to paint over 100 years ago. Although lead was banned from residential paint in 1978, it was still used in many specialty paints, and many buildings and structures still contain lead paint today. As a result, renovation and demolition projects often involve the removal or disposal of lead paint. Lead paint is not just found in residences and commercial buildings, but also in metal structures such as bridges and water tanks because lead is a rust preventative. DEEP has become involved in several projects where lead paint was improperly removed from such structures, resulting in exposure to surrounding residents and soil contamination.

 

Any waste is a hazardous waste if lead is present at more than 5.0 mg/l when analyzed under the TCLP test. Therefore, lead paint wastes must be tested before work begins to ensure proper disposal. Helpful DEEP documents include DEEP's Renovation and Demolition Flyer , and a lead-based paint testing and disposal guidance manual . There is also a " Red Flag List " for local code enforcement officials. In addition, lead-based paint in child-occupied housing is subject to special state and federal requirements. See the CT Dept. of Public Health's Lead Program page for more information.

Launch of Governor's Council on Climate Change

 

Governor Malloy created the Governor's Council on Climate Change (GC3) through an executive order in April. Chaired by DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee, GC3 comprises top executives of several state agencies as well as representatives of the business community and non-profit organizations. At the first meeting of the Council on July 10, Governor Malloy urged Council members to be bold in devising ways for Connecticut to achieve its climate goals and continue its strong climate leadership in the region and nationally. The Governor said he "can't think of any work more important" than meeting the 2050 target for statewide greenhouse gas reductions (80 percent reduction from 2001 levels), and he emphasized the importance of preparing Connecticut to withstand the effects of climate change, which will strengthen decade after decade.

 

In its first six months, the Council will focus on selecting models for climate leadership in state government, municipal government, business, and nongovernmental organizations and on proposing targets for greenhouse gas reductions between 2020 and 2050. Information on GC3 is available on the Office of Climate Change web page.

State Parks Update

A new concession, restroom and security facility is underway at Hammonasset Beach

 

The State Park Division of the DEEP is involved in a variety of new and major renovation and construction projects at three of the state's most popular coastal park locations: Sherwood Island in Westport, Hammonasset Beach in Madison and Silver Sands in Milford. Descriptions, images and progress reports of these construction projects and specific impacts to beach access may be followed online at DEEP's newly introduced State Park Construction Project Page.

 

 

 

The construction project page is just a small part of the State Park Division's new web entry page.

This revision and informational update makes it easier for the public to locate and learn about their favorite parks, follow the latest park- related news bulletins and view brief introductory videos about major park themes.  

 

   

 

The Connecticut Equine Advisory Council has recently published the results of its Multi-Use Trail Surface Study, a two year undertaking which sought to examine, through a variety of case studies, the critical components for keeping the statewide trail systems viable to accommodate a diversity of future growth.

 

Whose Woods Are These?  

 

  A recent study by Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies takes an in-depth look into the "who and why" of Connecticut private land ownership. T he study entitled "Understanding Connecticut Woodland Owners" is an analysis of the attitude, values, and challenges of people who own woodlands in Connecticut.  The report concludes that private landowner management and ownership has enormous influence on the quality and extent of Connecticut forests - as families own half of the approximately 1.8 million acres of woodlands in our state.

 

Decisions made by these 140,000 families who own woodlands is a matter of significant public interest and environmental concern. With better information about the landowners' values and needs, land-use planners, conservation, and forestry professionals can now be more strategic in reaching landowners with effective stewardship programs and support. The report also highlights a phenomena known as the "silver tsunami" - the threat of the sale of interior woodland for development, as 85% of current Connecticut woodland owners are over 50 years old.

CT Forests Contribute $3.3 Billion Annually to Economy

 

A recent study shows that Connecticut's forests are making a major contribution to the state's economy - in addition to providing scenic beauty, habitat for wildlife, protection of resources, and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities for residents and visitors alike. The study conducted by the North East State Foresters Association concluded that the state's forests contribute $3.3 billion annually to the state's economy, with the annual gross state output of Connecticut's forest products industry accounting for over $2.1 billion of the total and the forest-based recreation economy generating another $1.2 billion a year. The report also calculated that 8,200 workers are employed in the production of forest products while forest-based recreation supports another 4,600 jobs.

 

This first of its kind Connecticut study is part of a series of reports published for Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The report analyzes trends for key economic indicators related to forestry, including logging, related trucking, wood products manufacturing, wood furniture, and related products manufacturing, pulp and paper, wood energy, and forest based recreation such as camping, hiking, hunting, skiing, and fall foliage and wildlife viewing.

Deputy Commissioner Dykes Becomes Chair of RGGI Board

 

DEEP's Deputy Commissioner for Energy Katie Scharf Dykes was named as chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. (RGGI) Board of Directors in May. Connecticut is one of the founding members of RGGI, a nine-state coalition. It sets a regional cap on greenhouses gas emissions from generation of electric power, auctions off emission allowances, and reinvests the proceeds in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

 

From 2008 through mid-2015, Connecticut has allocated $127 million in auction proceeds for energy efficiency and renewable energy. The RGGI states have collectively cut carbon pollution from the power sector 40 percent even as their economies grew 8 percent. "RGGI is a proven model for the reduction of power sector carbon pollution," Dykes said. "I look forward to serving as chair in support of a program with an established track record. Our states have demonstrated that reducing carbon pollution can go hand in hand with building state economics, supporting the energy grid, and benefiting ratepayers." More information is available in the May 28 press release.

Check the Air Quality Forecast When Planning Your Day 

 

With the onset of warmer weather, Connecticut's ground-level ozone air pollution (also known as smog) levels are sure to rise. DEEP monitors our air quality every day and issues Air Quality alerts when ground level ozone is expected to reach unhealthy levels, especially for sensitive groups, such as the elderly and people who have respiratory problems. Businesses can use the information on the DEEP's air quality website as a planning tool for activities such as testing emergency generators. For many municipalities that operate youth recreation programs in the summer, this information can inform decisions on when it may be appropriate to bring kids indoors. Businesses and municipalities can help protect air quality by asking employees to combine trips or share rides, fuel vehicles after 7 p.m., and avoid using gasoline powered garden equipment during the hottest part of the day.

CT Company is Safer Choice Award Winner

 

U.S. EPA's Safer Choice Program recognized Sun Products Corporation of Wilton, CT as an outstanding formulator-manufacturer. Safer Choice is a new label that will help consumers to choose products safer for health and the environment. Over 2000 products for use in homes, schools, hotels, sports venues and offices qualify for this label. Sun Products Corporation received this year's Partner of the Year Award for its implementation of company policy to certify products they market as "green" with Safer Choice. The company was commended for prominently using the Safer Choice label on products and displays, collaborating with large-chain retailers on in-store promotions, and offering discounts and promotions for the labeled products. Other notable achievements - Sun Products was one of the first manufacturers to replace petrochemicals in detergent formulas with plant-based surfactants and its corporate office in Wilton is LEED certified.

DEEP & MDC Relocate Fish to Enhance Community Fishing

 

A unique opportunity to enhance fishing in two popular municipal parks was created when the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) notified DEEP's Inland Fisheries Division that they needed to lower the water level in one of their reservoirs. The fish community within the reservoir, which is closed to fishing, consists of large, highly desirable and sought after fish species. Both the MDC and DEEP thought the collection and transfer of some of these fish would benefit many anglers.

 

In one evening this past June, DEEP staff collected 262 popular sportfish, including largemouth bass (110 - minimum of 12"), yellow perch (66 - minimum of 8"), bluegill and pumpkinseed (77 - minimum of 6"), brown bullhead (8 - minimum 12"), and chain pickerel (1 at 20"), from the reservoir and then transferred the fish to either Stanley Quarter Park Pond in New Britain (156 fish) or Mirror Lake in Meriden (106 fish). Both ponds are part of DEEP's Community Fishing Waters Program, the goal of which is to create and enhance year-round fishing opportunities in urban and suburban areas.

photo: Paul Fusco

Connecticut Hunting & Fishing Day to Be Held in September

 

On September 26, 2015, DEEP will be hosting Connecticut Hunting & Fishing Day at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington. Activities for all ages are planned, along with a live raptor program by Talons. Come practice your shooting and casting skills. Talk to DEEP biologists about wildlife and fisheries. Learn some tips about getting that big buck or hooking that monster bass. Check out the latest in hunting and fishing gear. Be sure to bring the kids and grandkids who will be able to enjoy a variety of activities, learn about wildlife, and make crafts. Best of all, the event is free to attend!



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.