The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has granted tentative approval of the 401 water quality certification for the Pomfret to Killingly natural gas pipeline. I urge DEEP to deny the 401 certification, as the proposed pipeline would violate the Connecticut’s water quality standards, and the conditions in the draft certification fail to protect our streams, wetlands, and wildlife.
When we talk about racial injustice, we must put environmental injustice near the top of the list of concerns. Connecticut’s urban communities of color are burdened with pollution from traffic congestion, aging housing, toxics from manufacturing, and the dumping of the state’s trash to be incinerated in their neighborhoods. Eighty percent of U.S. waste incinerators are located in environmental justice communities. The aging MIRA waste incinerator in Hartford is a prime example.
Would a Killingly energy plant powered with fracked natural gas have been approved if the Connecticut Siting Council hadn’t had three vacant seats last June? I doubt it, but it was, and something needs to be done.
On June 6, the Connecticut Siting Council approved construction of an unneeded power plant which will use fracked ‘natural’ gas and will emit over 2 million tons of CO2 yearly. This plant is to be sited in Killingly in the Quinebaug and Shetucket Valley National Heritage Corridor, upstream from an existing power plant which more than meets the needs of the region.
Water is life! Clean water is essential to our health, our environment and our economy. As a public health advocate and a homeowner with a private well, I was alarmed to read reports of PFAs found in Greenwich wells and in water supplies all over the country.
I am writing to counter recent arguments that Connecticut’s economic woes mean that we can’t afford to pass ‘compassionate’ bills like House Bill 5387, AN ACT CONCERNING PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE, despite strong bipartisan support inside the legislature and outside in the real world. Frankly, I am surprised by the lack of vision shown by opponents of the bill. How can we move forward and build our economy without creative solutions? The House passed HB 5386 last week by a vote of 142-4 and I would urge the Senate to move quickly to send it to the governor’s desk.
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, nationally, women earn about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men and this gap is even more pronounced for women of color – black women earn 63 cents and Hispanic women earn 54 cents as compared to white men. This economic injustice affects not only women, but every man and child who has a woman in their lives.
During its special session June 29, the Connecticut legislature passed a number of items as budget implementers. Two of these are of particular importance to our environment and the health of our citizens – a strong law banning plastic microbeads used in cosmetics and personal care products, and enhanced notification prior to a pesticide application on school grounds, along with restrictions on the use of pesticides on municipal playgrounds.
There is a bill before the CT State Legislature which would ban some flame retardant chemicals from children’s products. Does this sound counter intuitive? It is not. An Act Concerning Toxic Fire Retardants in Children’s Products, is an opportunity for us to rectify this dangerous exposure of our children to toxic chemicals that are linked to many serious diseases.