The Connecticut 2023 legislative session is in full swing and Clean Water Action is working hard on critical legislative proposals. Here’s a rundown of some of our priorities:
Clean Water Action led efforts to pass a precedent-setting law in 2021 that
- Restricted firefighting foam containing PFAS (a major source of contamination)
- Implemented a take-back program of the foam, switched to a new PFAS-free substitute that was equally effective; and
- Banned PFAS in food packaging-another major source of exposure and contamination.
This year, we’re pushing for more comprehensive reform to “turn off the tap” of these highly toxic chemicals. PFAS are found in many other products including textiles, apparel, cookware, cosmetics, carpets, rugs and furniture to name a few. While these chemicals make the products anti-stick, grease, water and stain resistant, they are not necessary and extraordinarily harmful to health and the environment. In order to get ahead of this problem, we must stop the flow of products containing these toxic chemicals from coming into our state, our homes and polluting our environment. Other states are moving in this direction and Connecticut should not fall behind!
We know that a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut comes from buildings and the heating and cooling systems used that rely on fossil fuels. One of the best ways to reduce these emissions is to ramp up energy efficiency initiatives—those actions that invest in sealing up leaks in buildings, adding insulation, shifting to energy efficient appliances, lighting and heating/cooling. We’re tackling this in two ways:
- Supporting legislative proposals that fund more energy efficiency services for residents and all buildings, particularly for vulnerable populations in low-income and communities of color that bare a disproportionate burden of energy costs to heat and cool their homes.
- Working directly in communities like Waterbury to assist residents to take advantage of energy efficiency programs that are often free and make their homes more comfortable and reduce energy costs.
Connecticut passed a landmark environmental justice law in 2008, thanks to the amazing leadership of Dr. Mark Mitchell and other leaders. We are supporting efforts to strengthen that law to address the cumulative impacts of pollution and give residents in environmental justice communities more say in the siting and enforcement of facilities in their communities. We stand in solidarity with these environmental justice leaders and are working to get a stronger environmental justice law passed in Connecticut this session. To learn more, visit www.CleanWater.org/CT