Friday, May 05, 2006

Long Island Sound Cleanup Money is Not a Sure Thing Yet in Connecticut But CFE is Confident

The Connecticut state legislature finished for the year this week, and yesterday Connecticut Fund for the Environment sent out an e-mail with the subject: CFE Celebrates Environmental Strides Made During the 2006 Legislative Session. The next to last item on its celebratory list was “Water: Unfinished Business.”

The bad news is that the legislators, who in recently years have been severely under-funding the Clean Water Fund, and in the process jeopardizing the Long Island Sound cleanup, didn’t manage to pass the bonding legislation that include $50 million for the Clean Water Fund.

The good news is that the bonding legislation includes money for a lot of other projects besides the Clean Water Fund and that the legislators pretty much have to pass it. And CFE/Save the Sound thinks they will:

We expect the Bonding Package, which did not pass during the regular session, to be acted on during either a veto or special session of the General Assembly later this month. The bonding bill that passed the Finance Committee includes funding for two critical water investments. Bonding was included to fund improvements to dams, pumps and weirs that will restore river flow to the Shepaug River, while providing the City of Waterbury drinking water security in times of drought. This funding will result in an economic win-win in a legal battle that CFE has been a party to for nearly a decade.

Additionally, the bill includes major increases in clean water funding. State clean water funding was severely cut in recent years. These cuts nearly halted Connecticut’s progress in restoring the dead zone in western Long Island Sound, and stropped progress in putting an end to billions of gallons of raw sewage flowing into our rivers after a rainstorm.

“We urge the Legislature to continue its commitment to free flowing rivers and restoring the Clean Water Fund when it passes the bonding package later this month,” said Leah Schmalz, Director of Legislative and Legal Affairs for Save the Sound, a program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment.


Blogger Sam said...

Umm, that doesn't sound too encouraging, Tom. You need the legislation, appropriations, and from what you say a high-risk bond (to float on the market) because CT doesn't have the smack or cash to finance the deal with matching federal funds. All three have to be done after legislature ends SINE DE. Please tell us you're not pulling our finger here ... that just doesn't sound very encouraging. /sam

1:24 AM  

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