The legislature’s Regulation Review Committee voted overwhelmingly to reject an attempt by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to more strictly regulate the use of water in Connecticut through so-called “Stream Flow” proposed regulations.

A law passed in 2005 authorized the DEP to draft stream flow regulations but did not set sufficiently clear guidelines and enabled the department to propose a very broad, complex and expensive program. 

After the legislative committee in October rejected the DEP’s first draft regulations, a coalition of businesses, water utilities, municipalities, labor unions and others urged the DEP, in numerous meetings, to reasonably modify its proposal.

The DEP submitted its revised regulations to the Regulation Review Committee last month without addressing many of the coalition’s key concerns or including compromise language. But the DEP added some revisions that had never been raised in stakeholder meetings and that were of concern to coalition members.

Members of the coalition greatly appreciate the bipartisan support of the following legislators serving on the committee at the time of the vote, who voted against the DEP’s proposed regulations: 
Sen. Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury), Senate Co-chair
Rep. Chris Caruso (D-Bridgeport)
Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven)
Rep. Vin Candelora (R-North Branford)
Rep. Paul Davis (D-Orange)
Rep. Bill Hamzy (R-Terryville)
Rep. Carlo Leone (D-Stamford)
Sen. Sam Caligiuri (R-Waterbury)
Sen. Paul Doyle (D-Wethersfield)
Sen. Jonathan Harris (D-West Hartford) 

Efforts to reach a compromise were hindered because the various stakeholders could not even agree on the intent and scope of authority the legislature granted to the DEP for adopting such regulations. 

CBIA will work in the new legislative session to provide further clarity and guidance to the DEP on stream flow regulations, to continue to benefit and protect water flow in the state and maintain a healthy, safe business climate as well.

For more information, contact Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or