Opponents Attack Inclusion of "Public Trust " Language
The state's first water plan is back at the General Assembly- in its original draft form- with "public trust" language intact. A hearing date is yet to be set, but water utilities and business interests are already lobbying legislators to remove the simple re-statement of our 1971 Environmental Protection Act that the plan contains:
Section 22a-15: It is hereby found and declared that there is a public trust in the air, water, and other natural resources of the state of Connecticut and that each person is entitled to the protection, preservation and enhancement of the same.
It's crucial that the de-regulatory forces rolling through Washington, D.C. don't weaken CT's environmental protections. If actions affecting CT's water resources threaten their quality, quantity, or long term preservation, the state and its citizens have an over-riding interest and indeed a responsibility, to act. Removing public trust language removes this vital oversight.
In just the past few years, we've seen an effort to sell one of CT's largest water companies to a California corporation. We've seen Tilcon International try to sidestep watershed protection statutes to strip mine next to a New Britain reservoir. We've seen Niagara Bottling exploit a loophole in CT's water diversion statutes to move millions of gallons of water across watersheds without a permit, even in a drought.
Water is a public trust resource, not a corporate asset. It's time to pass our state's first water plan as is! Save Our Water CT will be monitoring the legislative process and posting updates as the session progresses.
Save Our Water CT
Citizen advocates acting to protect and conserve Connecticut's public trust waters.