CTLCV helped score several important victories for the environment in 2015, including halting the sale of microbeads, curbing the use of toxic chemicals on playgrounds, and protecting the Long Island Sound.
But there were also setbacks. A Special Session undid the progress we made on land conveyance, and the Community Investment Act lost half their funding.
Still, our efforts secured important wins even if our work continues into the coming year.
Microbeads This bill was added to the budget implementer to halt the sale of microbeads in Connecticut. Microbeads are non-biodegradable and can cause serious damage to water and the animals that live there. (Reference HB 5286)
Pesticides This bill reduces the use of pesticides on municipal playgrounds. (Reference SB 366)
Long Island Sound Blue Plan This was an effort that took 2 years to protect the Long Island Sound as a resource. (Reference HB 6839)
Land Conveyance We managed to persuade lawmakers to eliminate the bad sections of the annual Land Conveyance bill. But, during Special Session everything was reopened for discussion, and we were still able to remove the unwanted sections. (Reference HB 6998) Residential Solar A bill that would give incentives to homeowners who invest in solar energy. (Reference HB 6838)
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection did not get any more support, but funding stayed strong for the grants and loans to the Clean Water Fund, with $378 million, primarily for sewage treatment.
Funding for a statewide water plan was approved to protect Connecticut's drinking water, shorelines, rivers, freshwater habitats, and aquatic species.
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) remained fully funded to continue to be able to track and report on our progress regarding air, land, water, and wildlife.
$2.8 million in funding went toward the transportation overhaul initiative. The full "Lock Box" was not passed during Special Session, instead statutory language was added that said transportation funding cannot be used for any other purpose.
The Community Investment Act (used for open space, farmland, affordable housing, and historic sites) was not unscathed, they lost 1/2 of their funding, and they had to provide a new pot of money for non-environmental purposes.
Below is a list of environmental bills CTLCV tracked during the 2015 Legislative Session.
347 AN ACT CONCERNING THE PERCENTAGE OF STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDS THAT MAY BE USED TO PURCHASE OPEN SPACE UNDER THE OPEN SPACE AND WATERSHED LAND ACQUISITION PROGRAM. (Supported- Passed)
349 AN ACT CONCERNING SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT PLASTIC AND PAPER BAGS AND THE USE OF REUSABLE BAGS. (Supported- Failed)
366 AN ACT CONCERNING NOTICE OF PESTICIDE APPLICATIONS AT PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND AUTHORIZING THE USE OF CERTAIN MICROBIALS. (Supported- Passed in Budget Implementer in Special Session)
941 AN ACT DELAYING IMPLEMENTATION OF CERTAIN STANDARDS AND SAMPLING REQUIREMENTS UPON THE DETECTION OF POLLUTANTS CAUSING CONTAMINATION OF SOIL, GROUNDWATER OR PUBLIC OR PRIVATE DRINKING WATER WELLS. (Opposed- Failed)
1063 AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPLICATION OF PESTICIDES ON SCHOOL GROUNDS AND CERTAIN PUBLIC SPACES, AUTHORIZING THE USE OF CERTAIN MICROBIALS. (Supported- Failed)
2015 Legislative Watchlist (House)
5286 AN ACT PROHIBITING THE IMPORT AND SALE OF COSMETICS THAT CONTAIN MICROBEADS. (Supported- Passed in Budget Implementer in Special Session)
5653 AN ACT CONCERNING CHEMICALS OF HIGH CONCERN FOR CHILDREN. (Supported- Failed)
6035 AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPLICATION OF PESTICIDES AT STATE FACILITIES AND AUTHORIZING THE USE OF CERTAIN MICROBIALS. (Supported- Failed)
6838 AN ACT CONCERNING THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ACCESS TO RESIDENTIAL RENEWABLE ENERGY. (Supported - Passed)
6839 AN ACT CONCERNING A LONG ISLAND SOUND BLUE PLAN AND RESOURCE AND USE INVENTORY. (Supported - Passed)
6857 AN ACT PROTECTING TRANSPORTATION FUNDING. (Supported- Failed)
6897 AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPLICATION OF PESTICIDES AT STATE-OPERATED PARKS, ATHLETIC FIELDS AND PLAYGROUNDS. (Supported- Failed)
6998 AN ACT CONCERNING THE CONVEYANCE OF CERTAIN PARCELS OF STATE LAND. (Opposed to sections 3, 13, and 14- Failed, Special session pending)
7009 AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTRIC AND ZERO-EMISSION VEHICLES. (Supported- Failed)
7055 AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT FIRST. (Opposed to sections 11-14- Failed)
7061 AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, AND MAKING APPROPRIATIONS THEREFOR, AND OTHER PROVISIONS RELATED TO REVENUE, DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS AND TAX FAIRNESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (a full write-up of budget will be determined after the budget implementers)