Thursday, December 14, 2006

Clueless About the Clean Water Fund

To me, the most amazing thing we’ve learned during the past year’s Clean Water Act malfeasance by the Connecticut Legislature is that many legislators didn’t even know they were doing it. A handful of them admitted it a year ago at a Greenwich Audubon forum (here and here), and yet they still didn’t do anything about it.

Greenwich Audubon held another forum yesterday. This time Greenwich’s legislators made their confession:

State Rep. Lile Gibbons, R-Greenwich, acknowledged that she and many legislators were regretful when they realized the extent of the budget cuts for clean-water initiatives ….

"I admit that I wasn't aware that that was happening in the budget," Gibbons said.

Acknowledging your transgressions is the first step toward forgiveness and perhaps toward making amends. Still, should we laugh ruefully or throw our hands up in despair when elected officials are so out of it?



Blogger Sam said...

I know the feeling, but there again the issue is not sexy and frankly, the environmental lobby hasn't really reached out to the state legislators to educate them about the scope of the problem - especially the freshman and sophmore legislators in both houses. I mean, imagine that you were elected and didn't know anything about the major environmental problems or how to address the budget. People are not sponges who automatically absorb the right information at the right time.

What does bother me is that you mentioned that not only was state funding hit-or-miss, but that the federal budgets for wastewater treatment improvement was "pork" attached to some federal spending bill. This tells me that the whole shebang is basically a recipe for disaster, a proverbial shit-storm.

Finally, it is not all about municipal wastewater systems, although that is a good part of it because of aging infrastructure. Other point sources and non-point sources combined may have a significant impact on Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) as well.

So pick up the phone ... yes, you'll get some administrative assistant or a staffer but that's how you get started. Sometimes these mailings and blogs and newspaper articles just don't cut it with legislators, as they feel threatened by them (maybe I should repeat this for emphasis - threatened is the feeling they get).

I have never met a politician who didn't like to talk, however. /Sam

6:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker