Hearing from Our Members
CT Member Survey Results
We asked our members in Connecticut what they were concerned about. The results are in and issues like stormwater runoff, plastic pollution and PFAS contamination of drinking water sources around the country, including some private wells in Greenwich were top priorities. Members are also concerned about corporate buy-outs of water companies, water bottling companies getting rights to our water, protecting well water, bacterial contamination from nutrients, agriculture and leaking septic tanks. Members also support that water is part of the public trust and believe that language referencing that law should remain in the State Water Plan.
Here’s an update on we’re we are in Connecticut on these issues.
PFAS chemical contamination of water: We’re leading efforts in Connecticut to restrict two significant sources of PFAS chemicals that harm health and contaminate water. House bill (HB) 5910 An Act Restricting Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Certain Products was introduced in the Public Health Committee. PFAS chemicals are found in firefighting foam used at airports and military bases, anti-stick cookware, clothing and outerwear treated to repel water and stains, textiles, like carpeting treated to resist stains and food packaging and food service ware treated to repel grease, including take out containers, molded fiber plates and trays, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn etc. HB 5910 is a common-sense approach to reduce contamination by restricting the use of firefighting foam for training purposes and to ban the use of PFAS containing food service ware and food packaging by 2021 as many safe alternatives will be available at that time.
Plastic pollution: We’re partnering with numerous groups to reduce plastic pollution, including supporting a bill that bans the use of plastic bags statewide and a bottle bill that expands recycling initiatives to reduce plastic and other products from getting into the waste stream.
Stormwater runoff: Chemicals and nutrients that runoff into streams and rivers remains a huge problem and many efforts to reduce stormwater runoff are underway. In collaboration with other water groups, Clean Water supports measures to reduce runoff. We are excited about a collaborative project with students and faculty at CT River Academy to build a rain garden that will mitigate stormwater runoff into the Hockanum River and hope this work leads to on-going projects with youth leaders across the state.
Acquisition of water companies: Following Niagara Bottling’s move to Connecticut, the recent purchase of Aquarion Water Company by Eversource and an attempt by San Jose Water Company to purchase CT Water Company raised additional concerns that these purchases happen with little public oversight and caused concerns for the future of Connecticut’s waters. A bill to require more public notice about water company mergers and acquisitions has been introduced and we’ll be supporting it.
Water is part of the public trust: The State Water Plan was the culmination of two years of work by agency officials, numerous experts, scientists and members of the public through several stakeholder engagement meetings across the state. Despite broad consensus from members of the Water Planning Council and four state agencies, references to the Connecticut statute acknowledging water is part of the “public trust” in the Plan raised concerns on the part of the Water Utilities and the CT Business and Industry Association. Their efforts to block the plan from going forward for a vote were successful. Governor Malloy issued an Executive Order to implement the plan but the Utilities and Business Association continue to want the language changed. We continue to work with allies, advocacy groups and the Water Planning Council to get the plan adopted by the General Assembly, as is, this year.
We’re working hard to protect our waters, our environment and mitigate the harms from climate change and appreciate all your support! Stay tuned for updates and action alerts and help us protect Connecticut’s resources!