Friday, November 18, 2005

Do Connecticut Legislators Support the Cleanup of the Sound? Are They Even Aware of It?

Long Island Sound advocates in Connecticut have a right to wonder how with-it and committed to the Sound their legislators are.

At Wednesday’s Audubon forum in Greenwich, Jane-Kerin Moffat, a longtime Sound advocate (she was instrumental in organizing the first Listen to the Sound hearings, in 1990, which were instrumental in establishing public support for the Sound cleanup) asked the Connecticut legislators about the DEP’s proposal to ease up on nitrogen reductions.

The response didn’t exactly fill me with confidence: the legislators were unaware of what DEP was doing.

I sent the four legislators who were at the forum (plus Soundkeeper/House member Terry Backer) an email, asking them about the issue, specifically about the decision to take money out of the Clean Water Fund -- the decision which forced the DEP to cut back on the Sound cleanup. Here's an excerpt of my email:

I understand that the reason the DEP is doing this is because of a decision by the state Legislature to take money out of the Clean Water Fund for other purposes.

I am writing today in hopes that you, as a representative of a community on the Sound, can explain why the Clean Water Fund was raided and whether there are plans to fund it again.

Of the four – House members Livvy Floren, Lile Gibbons, and Claudia Powers, and Senator William H. Nickerson – only Nickerson has responded, although his response was “not responsive,” as the lawyers say. Here’s Nickerson’s email to me, in its entirety:

Tom ~

Thanks for the e-mail - I'll keep your thoughts in mind.


As I said, not exactly confidence-building.


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