Hartford, CT - The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) applauded the news that Mayor Erin Stewart has withdrawn a proposal to expand a strip mining operation on approximately 100 acres of protected, off-limits reservoir land owned by New Britain. CTLCV has been strongly opposed to the project since it was first suggested nearly a decade ago. In the intervening years, CTLCV has worked with the Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, Protect Our Watersheds Connecticut, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, and the people of New Britain to present evidence and offer public testimony about the risks of stripping, blasting, and mining on a public water source.
"This is a tremendous victory for everyone working to protect our clean water and our environment," said Lori Brown, CTLCV Executive Director. "Allowing Tilcon to expand its mining operations would have tainted an important watershed, destroyed a valuable natural resource, and set a dangerous precedent for how protected water sources can be used. These days, with the EPA and Trump Administration rolling back clean water regulations left and right, it's important we take steps here in Connecticut to protect the public's access to safe, drinkable water and guard against the destruction of our environment. The withdrawal of the Tilcon proposal shows what we can accomplish when we stand as one and have the facts on our side."
Margaret Miner, Executive Director of Rivers Alliance and a CTLCV Board member said, “It was Lori Brown who--ten years ago--spotted the original Tilcon proposal embedded in bills going through in the last days of the session. I happened to be there at the time. We recognized the danger this posed and sprang into action right away. I'm grateful this story has a happy ending at last."
The Tilcon mining project was originally proposed ten years ago via legislation that would have allowed New Britain to lease its Class I and II water lands without the approval of the Department of Public Health. CTLCV worked with other nonprofits and the public to block the proposal then. The project was revived in 2016 despite objections about the destruction of valuable natural resources and lack of precedent for such work. CTLCV has submitted public testimony and attended numerous hearings about the Tilcon proposal.