Wednesday, October 31, 2007

CFE/Save the Sound Says Rell Will Sign the Clean Water Fund

Here's their statement, just out:

A BIG thank you to all who worked so hard on Clean Water Funding over the past two years!

After fighting for sufficient state funding to ensure that our waterways and public health are protected, the bond package passed yesterday and Gov. M. Jodi Rell has agreed to sign it.

Clean Water Funding faired well. It will receive $90 million in general obligation bonds and $235 million in revenue bonds in 2008; and $90 million in general obligation bonds and $180 million in revenue bonds in 2009. This $90 million investment each year for the next two years is the highest level of general obligation funding the Clean Water Fund has received to date.

This bond package is Connecticut's first step in rebuilding its clean water legacy, so please take a moment to call or write your legislators and Gov. M. Jodi Rell to thank them for working to resuscitate the Clean Water Fund.

While $90 million in general obligation bonds over the next year is not enough to complete all of the state's clean water projects, it is a significant influx that should put Connecticut's goal to restore Long Island Sound's "Dead Zone" back on track. But due to the lack of state investment in recent years, we must invest even more in coming years to fully stop the annual sewage overflow releases. This means that over the next few years we will be working to increase these funding levels so that the Connecticut can live up to the promises it made its citizens.

The federal government and the state of Connecticut set two critical goals when it promised the state's citizens clean and healthy water. The agreement was to stop raw sewage overflows into rivers and Long Island Sound by 2020 and to restore the low-oxygen Dead Zone in Long Island Sound by 2014. To meet these goals our municipalities need a fully functioning Clean Water Fund – the primary mechanism for funding wastewater treatment and sewer projects in Connecticut.



Blogger Sam said...

So Tom is it champagne time yet?

I sure hope it is, and want to remind y'all that getting money means you have to get results, watch the money, and get the best bang for the buck. That's a tall order.

In other words, not having the money was a big risk to the environment; having the money now means even more risk. Can you get concrete results without spending more than 15% on consulting and administrative fees?

Tom I can see you writing more about this in the future. Money doesn't solve problems - people and actions and good projects do. I just hope there is a good advisory board, lots of GIS to identify high priority projects without using hearsay, and quick implementation without having delays, over-runs, and fiscal roll-overs. /sam

4:54 PM  
Blogger Tom Andersen said...

Money doesn't solve problems but the issue in Connecticut is that they had an excellent program that had made good progress only to be undermined by Hartford's failure to provide money in recent years. Here's an example (I wrote this in the Times last year so, yes, I'm quoting myself):

"In 2005, Connecticut treatment plants discharged 4,947 tons of nitrogen. For 2006, the Connecticut D.E.P. had planned to require a further 17 percent reduction, to 4,110 tons, thereby getting that much closer to the 58.5 percent goal.

"Instead, the Connecticut D.E.P. cut back on grants and loans — and on the size of the nitrogen reduction it will require. Rather than 17 percent, or 750 tons, it settled on a reduction of 1.1 percent, or just 55 tons for 2006."

Stamford and Norwalk have already used the help of the Clean Water Fund to exceed the 2014 goal. So Connecticut knows what to do. They need the money to do it.

7:15 AM  

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