Monday, February 13, 2006

Pushing Connecticut to Clean Up the Sound

Terry Backer, who in addition to being the Soundkeeper also represents Stratford in the House, told me yesterday that state Senator Bill Finch, of Bridgeport, has agreed to introduce a bill in the environment committee that he and Terry hope will put a significant amount of money back in the Clean Water Fund. In recent years Connecticut has cut its allocation for the Clean Water Fund from about $50 million annually to about $20 million, on average – an amount that will force the state to significantly slow down its program to fund sewage treatment plants so they can remove nitrogen from treated sewage.

Terry said yesterday that he thinks $50 million is the right figure for this year too, but that ultimately a committee that oversees bonding will decide. Like the Senate environment committee, the House bonding committee is chaired by a representative from Bridgeport (Bob Keely).

The key, Terry said, is to give the bonding committee the political cover to put up $50 million.

For that to happen, he said, Long Island Sound advocates are going to have to demonstrate that there’s real support for the cleanup of the Sound.

If you go to my archives, on the right, and click through posts from the first two weeks of last month, you’ll get some good background, including the opinions of Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound and Audubon Connecticut, and you’ll also see Terry Backer’s early thoughts on the issue.


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