$90 million for the Sound
Save the Sound had reason to celebrate this week as Connecticut legislators approved $90 million for the state’s Clean Water Fund, which pays for projects like improving sewage treatment plants and sewer lines.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell is “pleased with the bill,” but still has to look it over before deciding whether to sign it, one of her spokespeople, Rich Harris, told me this morning.
Here, in part, is the press release from Save the Sound, a project of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Connecticut is beginning to rebuild its clean water legacy,Ã¢â‚¬? said Leah Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs for Save the Sound, a program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our leaders are to be congratulated for working to resuscitate the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clean water investments. This $90 million general obligation bond allotment keeps alive a vision of clean rivers, safe waters and a healthy Long Island Sound.Ã¢â‚¬?
The federal government and the state of Connecticut set two critical goals when it promised the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s citizens clean and healthy water. The agreement was to stop raw sewage overflows into rivers and Long Island Sound by 2020 and to restore the low-oxygen Dead Zone in Long Island Sound by 2014. To meet these goals our municipalities need a fully functioning Clean Water Fund Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the primary mechanism for funding wastewater treatment and sewer projects in Connecticut.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“While $90 million in general obligation bonds over the next year is not enough to complete all of the state’s clean water projects, it is a significant influx that should put ConnecticutÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s goal to restore Long Island SoundÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dead ZoneÃ¢â‚¬? back on track,Ã¢â‚¬? said Schmalz. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Due to the lack of state investment in recent years, we must invest even more in coming years to fully stop the annual release of 2 billion gallons of sewage overflow. We look forward to working with our elected officials and individual towns to ensure that Clean Water Fund financing is adequate to meet these basic clean water and human health objectives.Ã¢â‚¬?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This $90 million investment is the highest general obligation funding level to date; it is not only an investment in the water quality of Long Island Sound, it is an investment in our future,Ã¢â‚¬? Schmalz said.