Your Environmental Connection

News for Connecticut's Businesses & Municipalities
October 2018
Commissioner Klee
Message from  
Commissioner Klee 

Dear Friends,
The recently released findings from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change must be a wake up to all of us to immediately take action to address climate change.  We have experienced the impacts of climate change firsthand in Connecticut, from stronger tropical storms and nor'easters, to roads that once did not flood that now flood frequently, to changes in our state's flora and fauna.

We have made investments in renewable energy resources and sustainable communities, encouraged the use of zero-emission and low-emission vehicles, as well as taken steps to prepare for an up to 50 cm rise in sea level, amongst other actions.

For all the good work we have done at the local and state level to address climate change, I am concerned that it may not be enough in the long term.   All of us should feel an obligation to future generations to take action to address the very real threat of climate change.

Some will argue it is impossible to address climate change in a timely manner - I will remind you that we are a nation that went from barely getting man into low-Earth orbit to landing on the Moon in less than 10 years.

As President John Kennedy said in 1962, "we choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

For our generation, our Moon shot must be one thing, reaching carbon neutrality, utilizing all our scientific and political energy to save the one planet we have. It is not that we can do it, we must do it.

I urge each of you to consider policies and practices in your towns and businesses that will help us reach those goals.
In This Issue
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Governor Makes Two Big Climate Moves
At the Global Climate Action Summit hosted by California in September, Governor Malloy announced two initiatives extending the state's aggressive efforts to address climate change.  
First, he announced Connecticut is joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance - a coalition of countries, regions, states, and businesses committed to phasing out traditional coal power and placing a moratorium on new coal power stations. Connecticut has only one coal-fired plant still in use, Bridgeport Harbor Station, which has already committed to cease burning coal by 2021. By joining the alliance, Connecticut is committed to prohibiting construction of coal-fired plants.
Second, the governor directed DEEP to develop regulations to phase out use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a group of industrial chemicals widely used in refrigeration and air conditioning. When released into the atmosphere, HFCs make extremely potent contributions to global warming. EPA recently weakened federal regulation of HFCs, postponing adoption of available alternatives.
"The science is clear - coal-burning and HFC use significantly contribute to climate change, whose impacts we already are beginning to witness on a nearly daily basis," said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. "Today Connecticut is standing up to protect our future generations."
Look Up and Watch Out for Hazardous Trees
Several years of storms, drought, and insect infestations have severely damaged a significant number of Connecticut's trees. A "hazard tree" has a structural defect that makes it likely to fail in whole or in part. Such a tree can fall without warning!

Dead treeFollow these guidelines to manage risks associated with hazardous trees:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dense patches of dead or distressed trees.
  • Be particularly watchful when it is windy or when branches are covered with snow.
  • Look up while on trails.
  • Avoid parking, picnicking, camping, hiking, and hunting in areas where dead trees or dead limbs are more likely to fall.
Permitting Pre-Application Assistance
Public Act 18-146, An Act Concerning Expedited Permitting Procedures by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, went into effect on October 1, 2018.

The new law focuses on increasing access to pre-application meetings, particularly for new or expanding businesses, as well as measuring the effectiveness of pre-application meetings in improving the permitting process. In response to the legislation, DEEP used a LEAN process to make changes to the pre-application meeting request form and develop a follow-up survey.

  • The new form clarifies and standardizes how to request a pre-application meeting.  Please see the DEEP Permits & Licenses web page.
  • DEEP will provide follow-up within 30 days of pre-application request, schedule a meeting and discuss estimated timelines for processing of permit(s) at the meeting.
  • DEEP will survey each business that requested a pre-application meeting to collect information on the pre-application and permitting process. The survey results will be compiled and included in an annual report DEEP sends to the legislature. The survey results will also help the department continue to improve its permitting process
For questions regarding a pre-application meeting, contact the Permit Assistance Office at 860-424-3003 or the specific permit program.
From Rifle Manufacturing to State-of-the-Art High School - Bridgeport's General Electric Facility Transformation is Almost Complete
Old GE Bridgeport Facility New Harding High School
Comprised of 17.16 acres, 379 Bond Street (the school parcel) was part of a larger site owned by the General Electric Company (GE) located at 1285 Boston Avenue, which was originally developed by Remington Arms Union Metallic Cartridge Company, circa 1915, for manufacturing military rifles.  GE acquired the site in parcels between 1920 and 1937.  Manufacturing included production of wire, cable, housewares, and small appliances.  All operations ceased in 2007.  GE deconstructed the building in 2011-12 and reused the brick building material as onsite fill.

The GE property is subject to RCRA Corrective Action.  A Stewardship Permit was issued to GE and the City of Bridgeport in 2015 for the school parcel. The school building and landscaping were constructed to render soil inaccessible to address direct exposure concerns. An Environmental Land Use Restriction (ELUR) was recorded on the Bridgeport Land Records.  GE conveyed the parcel to the City of Bridgeport and Harding High School opened in August 2018.

Remediation projects at the GE facility (1285 Boston Avenue) include dredging Stillman Pond; construction of an engineered control; installation of a solar field to provide energy to the school; sediment removal and installation of Reno Mattresses in the brook; and hot-spot soil removal efforts.
Connecticut 2018 Ozone Season Update
Ground level ozone is an air pollutant known to cause a number of adverse health effects and negatively impact Connecticut's air quality. Ozone forms when air pollution from combustion sources like motor vehicles and power plants react in strong sunlight. DEEP has been measuring ambient ozone levels since the 1970's. During the ozone season, which runs from March 1 to September 30, measured ozone levels sometimes exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) of 70 ppb, depending on weather conditions.  The highest ozone levels usually occur on the hottest summer days, when the prevailing winds transport air pollution into our state from other areas. This season, Connecticut's air quality exceeded the federal health-based standard for ozone on 23 separate days. View more information about ozone trends in Connecticut.
Long Island Sound Blue Plan Draft Policy Document Available for Public Review and Comment
The first draft of the Long Island Sound Blue Plan policy document has been released for public review and comment.  Please visit for more information.

This policy document is a first draft which should be read it in its entirety, as many of the policies build upon and depend on others.  Focusing solely on issues that may be of particular interest will not allow the reader to fully understand the overall context of the Blue Plan's policy approach.

Two public events have been scheduled to present information and solicit public input:
  1. An informal public meeting: Tuesday October 30, 2018, 6:30 pm, DEEP Marine Headquarters, Building 3, 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, Connecticut, and
  2. A public hearing: Thursday November 8, 2018, 6:30 pm, Stamford Government Center, 6th Floor Safety Training Room, 888 Washington Boulevard, Stamford, Connecticut.
Interested parties can also ask questions and provide comments via:

U.S. Mail:  LIS Blue Plan, DEEP WPLR, Land and Water Resources Division - Planning, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106;
Online:  Complete the comment form and email or mail the form to us.
CT Glass Collection Pilot 
With industry-driven co-mingling of all recyclables (i.e., single stream or mixed recycling) becoming the norm, glass-related cross-contamination has also become a norm. Glass processed at Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) is often contaminated with small bits of plastic, metal, paper and organics, and pieces of glass can be a contaminate in bales of other commodities.  

In the last legislative session, Public Act 18-181 was passed and went into effect on October 1, 2018.  Section 12 of P.A. 18-181 outlines a new initiative that requires the Department to authorize a two-year pilot program for the collection of glass upon the request of a municipality.

The objective of this pilot program is to evaluate alternative options for glass collection that result in more glass actually being recycled (and not ending up as "alternate daily cover" in landfills).  Any pilot programs should not end up being a step backwards, resulting in more glass being disposed of in the trash. This is a key concept since glass is a designated (mandated) recyclable material.
Potential pilot towns should propose a robust pilot plan that responds to the application questions in great detail.  DEEP has no funding to assist towns with a pilot program.

A Glass Pilot Participation Application form and other relevant materials can be found on DEEP's Municipal Recycling Resource Center webpage.
Municipalities Harvest Sunshine
Two towns have recently completed major solar energy initiatives using power purchase agreements (PPAs), under which solar developers sell them electricity at a long-term discount.
Solar Landfill in Bethel CT
Photo Credit:  Ameresco
Both projects participate in the state's Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credits program. Through Virtual Net Metering, a municipality or farm gets credit on its electricity bills for renewable energy generated at a remote facility.
Helping Nursing Homes and Senior Living Facilities Reduce Water Use and Toxics
CT DEEP's Pollution Prevention office has been assisting nursing homes and senior living facilities with environmental issues that impact them.  Over the past few years, a number of facilities received energy audits, implemented efficiency measures, and have been benchmarking their energy usage with aid from our utility company partners.  While reducing energy is a key action facilities can take, DEEP is now focusing on drawing attention to additional activities including reducing water usage and using environmentally friendly products.  Water demands at these facilities tend to be high - one room at a senior facility could use over 200 gallons of water per day.  Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to save water and cut costs, and to use "greener" products to reduce disposal costs and protect health and safety. 

DEEP has developed new sustainability checklists specific to these facilities on How to Conserve Water and on Buying Green Products, which were also reviewed by the CT Department of Health.  Nursing home and senior living facilities are encouraged to download these checklists and can receive assistance from DEEP with measuring their progress.  DEEP also has a webpage dedicated to this sector.
DEEP Promotes Organics-Food Waste Recycling 
Commercial facilities that generate large amounts of food waste can save money by separating the food waste from other trash and diverting it to a permitted organics recycling facility. Going Green Wtih Food Waste Webinar
DEEP's Pollution Prevention and Source Reduction & Recycling Divisions hosted a webinar in September titled, " Going Green with Food Waste for Event Venues, Banquet Facilities, and Hotels...".

The webinar provided information on CT's Commercial Organics Recycling law  (CGS Sec. 22a-226e), resources available to help companies create a program, and highlighted four companies in CT with successful programs underway.  The companies featured are the Hartford Downtown Marriott, Carla's Pasta, ASML Manufacturing, and the Hartford Yard Goats.

The webinar was recorded so you can access it at any time.  Visit CT DEEP's organics recycling webpage for more information on the topic. 
Connecticut's Volkswagen NOx Mitigation Program
The first round of applications for air pollution mitigation grants funded by a federal enforcement action following the Volkswagen (VW) emissions cheating scandal closed on July 31, 2018. The VW grant program offered $7.5M in funding for diesel emission reduction projects. Fifty-six applications were received from government and private entities requesting $32M in funding. The Department is currently reviewing the submitted applications with award announcement anticipated for the end of October.

The Department expects to offer another round of funding under the Program early next year.  If you are considering implementing any diesel reduction projects, visit the Volkswagen NOx Mitigation Program page for Program eligibility and to sign up for Program notifications.

If you're looking to implement a diesel emission reduction project before the next round of the VW program launches, that project may be eligible for funding under the State DERA Program which launched on October 2, 2018. Specifics on that program can be found at Diesel Grants and Funding.
First Evidence of Human Biting by East Asian Longhorned Tick in CT 
East Asian Longhorned TickThe Tick Testing Laboratory at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has reported the first evidence of human biting by the exotic east Asian longhorned tick in a resident in Fairfield County. The longhorned tick is an invasive species that was initially discovered on a farm in New Jersey in 2017 and has subsequently been found in eight other states (AK, CT, MD, NY, NC, PA, VA, and WV). It was most recently detected in Connecticut in July 2018. This newly-discovered tick is a major livestock pest that feeds on a wide variety of mammals, including humans, but it is not clear how often. Longhorned ticks have been found to carry several human pathogens in Asia, but it is unknown if this tick will be capable of transmitting native pathogens, such as those that cause Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, or Powassan virus.  
DEEP Seeks Public Comments on Shared Clean Energy Facilities
DEEP has announced a timeline for design of the Shared Clean Energy Facilities (SCEF) program, including multiple opportunities for public engagement. A scoping meeting is to be held November 5, and comments on the scope will be accepted through November 30. View additional details.

In June 2017, DEEP selected three SCEF pilot projects, which are expected to go online in 2019. In the meantime, Public Act 18-50 requires the agency to proceed with development of requirements and tariffs for a statewide SCEF program.
Always Be Bear Aware 
Bear at bird feeder Black bears have been in the news continuously this year. Reports of bear sightings, even in heavily populated residential areas, continue to be on the rise. The Wildlife Division also continues to see an increase in the number of reported problems with black bears. The primary contributing factor to bear nuisance problems is the presence of easily-accessible food sources near homes and businesses. Fed bears can become habituated and lose their fear of humans. Bears should NEVER be fed, either intentionally or accidentally. Bears are attracted to garbage, pet food, compost piles, fruit trees, and birdfeeders.  
Take the following simple steps to avoid conflicts and problems with black bears:
  • Remove birdfeeders and bird food from late March through November.
  • Eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.
  • Clean and store grills in a garage or shed after use. (Propane cylinders should be stored outside.)
  • Do not intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become "problem" bears.
  • Do not approach or try to get closer to a bear to get a photo or video.
  • Do not leave pet food outside overnight.
  • Do not add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
More tips on living with black bears . . .
Frequently asked questions about black bears . . .
Report black bear sightings . . .
What's IN, What's OUT Campaign Wins Local And National Awards
What_s IN_ What_s OUT
"What's IN, What's OUT", Connecticut's public awareness and education initiative conducted in partnership with CT DEEP, the RecycleCT Foundation, and CT MRFs has recently won a number of awards.

DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee accepted a State Program Innovation Award from The Environmental Council of States (ECOS) at their fall meeting. ECOS is the national nonprofit, nonpartisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders  which recognizes innovative state initiatives each fall.  A short video promoting the What's IN, What's OUT Campaign was shared at the ECOS meeting.

This past spring, Decker Creative, the marketing firm working with RecycleCT and CT DEEP, received two awards from AD Club CT associated with the What's IN, What's OUT campaign;  a Gold Award in the Single Ad/Radio Commercial category for the Recycling Opera and a Silver award in the digital & social/website category for the RecycleCT website.

For more information on What's IN, What's OUT or RecycleCT, contact Sherill Baldwin.
DEEP Holds First Connecticut Harbor Master Training and Education Workshop   
On May 4, 2018 DEEP held its inaugural training for State of Connecticut Harbor Masters at DEEP's Marine Headquarters in Old Lyme, CT. The workshop offered the first opportunity for DEEP to provide information and training to Harbor Masters, in person, since acquiring the program and responsibilities from the Connecticut Department of Transportation in 2016.
Harbor Masters Training WorkshopOver 40 Connecticut Harbor Masters and Deputy Harbor Masters from across the state attended the full day training. Presentations on current topics were given by DEEP's Environmental Conservation Police Division, DEEP's Emergency Dispatch Center, DEEP's Boating Division, DEEP's Land and Water Resources, the Connecticut Port Authority, the U.S. Coast Guard, Norwalk Harbor Master, and the CT Harbor Management Association.
All attending Connecticut Harbor Masters and Deputy Harbor Masters were issued State of Connecticut badges; credentials important to their work ensuring public safety and managing harbors and navigable waterways over which they have jurisdiction.
View more information on the Connecticut Harbor Masters Program or contact Kim Czapla at 860-424-3335. 
Removal of Heminway Pond Dam on Steele Brook in Watertown Underway
After 15+ years of planning, removal of Heminway Pond Dam is underway.  In 2007, the Town of Watertown acquired the former thread/string mill dam and pond from Siemon Company, with goals of removing the dam, restoring the river, and converting the dewatered impoundment into a passive recreation area, including Steele Brook Greenway extension.

Heminway Pond Dam Removal - View upstream from west bankThe Town approached DEEP which also has had a strong interest in dam removal. Removal is anticipated to improve stream hydrology and eliminate a water quality impairment, which manifests during hot weather, low flow conditions as an orange-colored plume (iron precipitate) immediately downstream of the dam impacting aquatic life. Fisheries will also benefit by restoring stream connectivity and habitat.

Towards these ends, DEEP provided a federal Clean Water Act Sec. 319 nonpoint source grant to USDA NRCS to develop the Steele Brook watershed-based plan and dam removal feasibility analysis.  DEEP subsequently provided the Town 319 funds for dam removal design and permitting assistance.  The Town is now receiving DEEP 319 and SEP funds for dam removal and stream restoration.  Dayton Construction Company is preforming the work and Princeton Hydro is providing oversite.  Northwest Conservation District is also assisting.  Major work should be completed later this fall.  
EEE Virus Detected in Mosquitoes in Hampton and North Stonington
Asian Tiger MosquitoThe State Mosquito Management Program recently announced that mosquitoes trapped in Hampton on September 19 and North Stonington on September 26  tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. This represents the first detection of EEE-positive mosquitoes identified in the state by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year. In addition, West Nile Virus (WNV) infected mosquitoes have been identified in 65 sites in 53 Connecticut towns. There are no reported human or equine cases of EEE virus this season but 17 human cases of WNV infection have been reported in the state so far this year.  
For more information on West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit the   Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website. 
DEEP Convenes Microfiber Pollution Working Group  
In the 2018 session, the CT General Assembly passed An Act Concerning Clothing Fiber Pollution requiring the Department to convene a group of representatives from the retail and apparel industry and the environmental community.  The goal of this working group is to develop consumer awareness and an education program regarding synthetic microfibers in clothing for the public. The working group's first meeting was in September.  Additional meetings will be scheduled.  

Microfibers are microscopic fibers that come from synthetic materials, including polyesters and polyamides. Microfibers are used to make mats, knits and weaves for apparel. These tiny fibers are very small and almost invisible. Human activity has led to microfiber pollution in oceans and rivers.  With each wash, plastic fibers from synthetic clothing leave washing machines and enter our rivers and oceans. Sewage plants and waste water treatment plants are currently unable to effectively remove all of these microfibers.
CT DEEP Acquires Open Space Through the Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Program   
CT DEEP acquired 420 acres of property located south of Route 44 in Norfolk and abutting the Housatonic State Forest.
CT DEEP acquired 420 acres of property which abuts the Housatonic State Forest and is  located south of Route 44 in Norfolk.  It is a key open space link from Canaan Mountain to the Blackberry River, and features forested land with spectacular views, pristine streams, and abundant wildlife.  This acquisition provides the public with new opportunities for passive recreation, hunting, and fishing.  The land had been owned by the Vagliano family. 

Funding for this acquisition was provided by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pittman-Robertson grant, a US Forest Service Highlands Conservation Act grant, a generous private donation through the Greenprint Partners Pledge Fund, and State bond funds through the Recreational and Natural Heritage Trust Program.  The Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Program is the DEEP's primary program for acquiring land to expand the state's system of parks, forests, wildlife, and other natural open spaces.
Doing Business with DEEP
Looking to do business with DEEP or another Connecticut State Agency? 
BizNet is a central database and online informational tool that makes it easy! Companies can use this resource to maintain and manage their own business account and easily respond to solicitations and other opportunities from many state agencies.

Required forms such as State affidavits, nondiscrimination forms, and insurance documents, can be uploaded and shared amongst state agencies,  avoiding the need for duplicative paperwork. With a Bizet account, you can easily respond to solicitations electronically, saving time and paper.

Get started by creating a BizNet account. Follow the instructions provided by the Department of Administrative Services.
Upcoming Hunting Seasons
DEEP recently announced the opening days of fall firearms hunting seasons. Peak hunting during these seasons occurs during early morning and late afternoon, primarily during the period from mid-October through mid-December. Please consult the 2018 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide for specific season details. 
Hunters and EnCon Officer
Safety: 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. Visit DEEP's website for Outdoor Safety Tips during the hunting seasons. 
EPA Lifetime Achievement Award Comes to DEEP
Every year, EPA New England recognizes individuals and groups in the six New England states who are distinguished by their work to protect or improve the region's environment. The merit awards, given since 1970, honor individuals and groups who have shown ingenuity and commitment.
Anne Gobin This year Anne Gobin, the recently retired Bureau Chief of Air Management at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), was a recipient of this distinguished award. Anne retired in February 2018 from DEEP after 32 years at the agency. She is best known for her accomplishments as chief of the Bureau of Air Management where, from 2003 to early 2018, she directed the implementation of numerous air quality programs while overseeing a staff of nearly 200 at its peak. As DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee noted, "Her dedication and passion for the important work we do each day is legendary throughout the agency." DEEP congratulates Anne on this achievement, and wishes her continued years of happiness in retirement. 

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.