Dykes: DEEP Improving Predictability, Efficiency, Transparency

Issues & Policies

Over the next two years, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner Katie Dykes has an ambitious set of goals for the agency. 

Dykes highlighted DEEP’s 20BY26 initiative during a conversation with Day Pitney’s Kirstin Etela at CBIA’s 2024 Energy & Environment Conference June 6 in Rocky Hill. 

“[Gov. Ned Lamont] was hearing from a lot of businesses about the challenges of working with DEEP, that our agency was perceived as kind of a black box and that people didn’t know,” Dykes said. 

Built on the 20BY20 initiative, 20BY26 aims to increase the predictability, efficiency, and transparency of DEEP’s processes.

“The first goal, not by accident, is to secure timely adoption of the release-based regulations that we were authorized to develop back in 2021,” Dykes said. 

Released-Based Regulations

The long-awaited release-based cleanup regulations will replace Connecticut’s Transfer Act once they are formally adopted by regulators. 

Dykes said she’s set July as an internal goal to get the new regulations out for public notice and comment. 

“We have thousands of highly developable sites that have been frozen in the Transfer Act for many years,” she said.

“We want to help make Connecticut an easier place to invest.”

DEEP’s Katie Dykes

“These are buildable sites, in many of our cities that have a lot of industrial legacy. And we want to help make Connecticut an easier place to invest.”

She noted the complexity of reworking an existing regulatory framework. 

That’s why she said it’s been important to listen to key stakeholders.

“We have been hard at work with a very extraordinarily talented working group of many of our environmental and LEP counterparts to help fine tune those regulations,” she said. 

Enforcement, Compliance

Another key goal of the 20BY26 initiative addresses DEEP’s enforcement and compliance efforts. 

Dykes said DEEP has seen significant turnover in its staff. 

As new staff and managers are trained, the agency has taken the oppprtunity to refresh its approach to enforcement “to ensure that we’re being consistent in our enforcement approaches across different media and different programs wherever possible.”

“We’re also looking to be more transparent about where enforcement is occurring,” she said.

“Focusing on compliance assistance to avoid enforcement challenges is really critical.”


Dykes used the example of new technology that allows the agency to do more mobile air pollution monitoring and enforcement.

But she also said that the best enforcement is compliance. 

“Focusing on compliance assistance to avoid enforcement challenges is really critical,” she said. 

“It’s being able to have good effective troubleshooting to help folks know what DEEP is going to be looking for in inspections, so that people can be prepared and be able to ensure a transparent and predictable compliance path.”

Energy Opportunities

Dykes said one of the goals that she’s excited about is ensuring transparency and predictability around access to energy opportunities. 

Dykes said DEEP has seen an uptick in businesses seeking funding to help reduce energy usage. 

She noted the “unprecedented” federal funding to increase clean energy supply and help businesses and residents lower energy costs.

That includes more than $360 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act for programs including solar, energy efficiency, and home energy rebates.

Dykes said DEEP will also launch a business and home energy affordability initiative next month.

“The more we can motivate and help businesses and residents take advantage of those on top of these other programs, the better we’re going to do in reducing our energy usage and lowering the cost of doing business, the cost of living in our state,” she said.

She noted that the agency launched an online dashboard to track funding progams. 

“Our goal is to not force customers to have to go sort through all these different dockets and jurisdictional frameworks to try to figure out how to pull these different dollars together, but make it really seamless, and really easy,” she said.

Energy Supply

Dykes also highlighted DEEP’S’s efforts around the state’s energy supply. 

“When you factor in the electrification of buildings, as well as electric vehicles across the ISO New England region, we can anticipate about 14% increase in energy demand by 2033,” she said, adding that data needs associated with artificial intelligence can push that even further. 

Dykes said DEEP has authority to invest in grid-scale resources, and the agency is evaluating bids on multiple RFPs initiated this year. 

“I think that there’s a lot of hand wringing about how we’re going to get there, but I’ve never been more optimistic about our ability to achieve that,” she said. 

“We know how important it is, in this region with a lot of small states, to pool our demand together.”


Dykes also said that states in the region have been working together, and that will only increase moving forward. 

“We know how important it is, in this region with a lot of small states to pool our demand together, especially if we want to look at sharing the costs of infrastructure like, transmission,” she said.

Dykes also emphasized investing in energy efficiency and new technologies, which might be more cost competitive to building new supply. 

“I think we’re very open-eyed about what the challenges are ahead, and I think we’re going to find a path to get there,” she said.

Permitting Timeframes

When it comes to the predictability, efficiency, and transparency, Dykes pointed to DEEP’s permitting timeframes. 

One 20BY20 goal was establishing expected timeframes for permit processes and create a permanent concierge office

“We dedicated a few terrific staff to lead this concierge office to create kind of a one stop shop. So that people would have a single point of contact,” she said.

“We’ve been able to identify where we are seeing repeat issues come up for certain industries.”


For 20BY26, Dykes said DEEP is expanding that office. 

“Through the concierge service, we’ve been able to identify where we are seeing repeat issues come up for certain industries,” she said. 

She said when programs aren’t meeting targets, officials hold leadership meetings to identify solutions. 

“Success is not just rushing permit decisions out the door to meet the timeframe, but actually being able to communicate effectively with applicants,” she said. 


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