Friday, June 08, 2007

Long Island Sound Assignment Desk

Here are some assignments for local reporters:

Judy Benson reported in the New London Day today (here) that the firm the New York State Department of State hired to look for alternative sites for a floating liquefied natural gas terminal believes that the Atlantic Ocean might be a better location than Long Island Sound. We need to know, however, just how influential it will be with the state officials who are trying to decide whether to give Broadwater the go-ahead? Is it ample ammunition for the Department of State to decline to issue a coastal zone consistency permit? Is it the cover the Governor Spitzer needs to say no?

There were stories in the Connecticut papers today about the end of the legislative session in Hartford and of the budget battle between the governor and the Legislature. But what happened to the Clean Water Fund? Legislators and Governor Rell paid a lot of lip service to it earlier this year, but thus far nothing has been approved. Will Connecticut again evade its responsibility to help clean up Long Island Sound?

Speaking of which, what is Westchester County’s plan for nitrogen removal at its four Sound shore sewage treatment plants?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: The Clean Water Funed... according to an email from Chris Zurcher of CT Fund for the Environment that wraps up the legislative session:

Unfinished business: While the regular session adjourned at midnight without a budget or bond package, CFE and Save the Sound are encouraged that the Finance Committee approved $110 million in clean water funds to end billions of gallons of raw sewage and restore the low-oxygen Dead Zone in western Long Island Sound. Also still in play is a potential $5 million to enhance and improve 20 public coastal Long Island Sound stewardship sites.

-- Dave Funkhouser

12:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Andersen said...

I got that e-mail as well. The Finance Committee approved it but the full Legislature didn't act on it. Why not? Is it dead (the financing, not the Legislature)? Will it be taken up in special session?

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2007 session ended Wednesday night without action on a budget, tax package, bond bill (relevant for those Clean Water Funds) or budget implementation bills. Gov. Rell has said she would call the legislature back on June 12th for the special session, though legislators had already planned on a special session later this month. Our top priority will be to protect the $220 million in G.O. bonding ($110 million each year for the next two years). No need to panic, but clearly we will all have to keep the pressure on for a while longer if we want to get raw sewage out of our rivers and improve Long Island Sound’s water quality.

-Leah Schmalz, Save the Sound/CFE

4:28 PM  

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