A proposal to develop a comprehensive water resources plan for Connecticut is awaiting action in the House after its unanimous approval by the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee.
HB 5424 authorizes the state Water Council Policy to develop a plan to protect Connecticut’s water sources, upgrade the state’s aging water infrastructure, improve wastewater treatment systems, and clean rivers and other water bodies.
The aim is to support the state’s agriculture, tourism, fishing, manufacturing, and energy production industries.
Also driving the need for HB 5424 is the realization that four separate state agencies share responsibilities for water regulations.
The Department of Public Health has the country’s highest drinking water standards; the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regulates groundwater, rivers, streams, dams, aquifers, stormwater discharges, and streamflow, along with water diversion and discharge permits; the Public Utility Regulatory Authority sets water rates; and the Office of Policy & Management coordinates the finances of the state’s water programs.
The new plan would help to bring more unified vision, purpose and oversight to the long-term management of the state’s water resources.
CBIA encourages state lawmakers to adopt HB 5424 as a positive step in resource management. For more information, email Faith Gavin Kuhn.