Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality Says It Is Keeping A Close Eye on Connecticut's Clean Water Funding

Karl Wagener, executive director of the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality, left a worthwhile comment to my recent post about how his agency’s recent report missed the boat on the important story of the Connecticut Legislature’s decision to stop putting money into the Clean Water Fund. Here are his main points:

We made a deliberate decision years ago to minimize reporting of "paper trends," including the appropriation of funds and the adoption of new laws. We do not ignore such developments, but we think they have the potential to distract readers from actual trends in air, water, land and health. Budgets and legislative activity tend to fluctuate, and one-year events are not as important as long-term efforts, a point we tried to emphasize in the report.

Regarding the funding of the state Clean Water Fund: We are watching this closely. I would not say the legislature made a decision to refuse funds; it was more a case of no action. The prospects for the Sound are good if funding shortfalls are made up in future years. In our report, we identify adequate funding of the state Clean Water Fund as a very important challenge for the coming year. If progress in cleaning up the Sound slows down, please be assured that we will report it, just as we did for other resources covered in the report.

For more complete stories than mine about the report, you can read the work of an old acquaintance (Robert Miller, in the Danbury News Times) and a new acquaintance (David Funkhouser, in the Hartford Courant, who makes note of the funding cuts).


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