CONNstruction - Winter 2015 - (Page 12)
By Mary Lou Jay
Improving the water quality in Connecticut's coastal and inland waterways provides many environmental and quality of life
benefits. What people sometimes overlook,
however, is the business impact of these
cleanup initiatives, which create and preserve jobs in several industries, including
Connecticut's Clean Water Fund is the
state's primary mechanism for providing
money for clean water projects. Since 2008
the Clean Water Investment Coalition, led by
the Connecticut Fund for the Environment
(CFE), has been leading efforts to secure
consistent and adequate resources for this
fund. CCIA is a member of the coalition, as
are several other associations from the construction and fisheries industries. Members
12 / connstruction / WINTER 2015
also include water authorities and commissions, local government groups and environmental protection organizations.
Missing clean water goals
The federal and state governments had
budgeted money for clean water projects
in the 1980s and 1990s, but by the early
2000s much of that money had dried up as
funds were diverted to other priorities. Many
clean water projects, including upgrades to
sewage treatment plants, were sitting on the
shelf because municipalities couldn't afford
to build them.
That included projects that would benefit the quality of water in the Long Island
Sound. Connecticut and New York had previously signed agreements to reduce the
total maximum daily load (TMDL) for nitrogen flowing into the Sound and to reduce
the combined sewer overflows (CSO) from
municipalities. But Connecticut was falling
behind on both commitments.
"We were missing targets and at the projected rate of investment we would have
missed those targets by a century," says
Leah Schmalz, who manages the Save the
Sound program for CFE. "There were a lot
of communities, especially in low income
areas, that were being impacted disproportionately because of all these problems."
Environmental groups in the non-profit sector were threatening to sue the state to force
compliance. "They were saying, 'We have
been falling down on this for long enough,
we really need to start doing something,'"
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Winter 2015
The Big Dam Challenge
MDC’s Office of Diversity: Promoting
Call Before You Dig – System Enhancement!
Cleaning Water, Creating Jobs
Connecticut’s New Port Authority Key to Economic Growth
40-Year Old Treatment Plant Gets Royal Flush Upgrade
What You Need to Know About WOTUS
AGC of Connecticut Industry Recognition Awards
Connecticut Environmental & Utilities Contractors Association Annual Fall Meeting
Diggers Mixers Fixers – 2015 Golf Outing!
CCPC – 2015 Summer Outing!
2015 Young Contractors Forum bus trip to the new Yankee Stadium
2015 YCF Fall Membership Meeting
Index to Advertisers/Advertiser.com Published
CONNstruction - Winter 2015