ISSUE OF DROUGHT/SWCT water diversion application by Aquarion, 2021

New threat to surface and groundwater?  Now threats to rural private water wells?  Air quality too?  We are on the case!  So was the COURANT!  Leader in 2021 - CT MIRROR


2021 NEWS:
NEW NEWS 2019...nothing yet - it is Spring and heavy rain and serious wind pattern continues...
NEWS 2018:  As of May 7, 2017, no more emergency, pipe to be removed;  October 12, 2016...EMERGENCY;  as of Oct. 19, DIVERSION;  CT August 2016 not as bad as MassachusettsU.S.A. as of October (N.O.A.A.)?  DROUGHT:  Water as a commodity, MDC, below.  And in the Long Session of 2017, where only three bills having passed in both houses of the Legislature, this was one for the MDC!

D R O U G H T    M E A S U R E SAnd related water matters.    News from White House:

WESTON WATER CYCLE BOTTOM LINE:  What you pour on the ground becomes the water you drink from drinking water taps in kitchen, etc.

Table of Contents:  Water Planning Council

Other research done previously...


PFA's in 2021
From the comprehensive about what CT DEEP is planning.

...A wider search for PFAS contamination

PFAS have been used  in the United States for decades to produce things like non-stick pans, waterproof clothing, stain-resistant carpets, grease-resistant food packaging and a firefighting foam that was routinely sprayed during emergencies and training exercises.  That firefighting product grabbed news headlines in Connecticut in 2019 when a private hangar at Bradley International Airport, north of Hartford, spilled an estimated 21,000 gallons of the chemical-laden foam into the Farmington River.

...(Rep. Christine) Cohen (Chair. of Environment Committee) and other legislators voted in June to spend $2.3 million over the next two years to pay for testing and treatment of drinking water that is shown to be contaminated.

Not this one

State plans $750,000 in pollution controls, improvements at 5 former Connecticut landfills
Courant, December 31, 2019

"State environmental officials are planning to use $750,000 in newly authorized funding for anti-pollution controls and improvements at five old state-supervised landfills, including two known to be leaking hazardous man-made chemicals known as PFAS. 

"The money will be used at closed landfills once operated by the former Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority in Hartford, Ellington, Waterbury, Wallingford and Shelton..."

Story in full:


So 20 years have passed and what has the 21st century wrought?

"WINDSOR, CT – Earlier this month Congress approved a $295-million expenditure to study and clean up PFAS contaminations across the nation"...

Story in full:


"...Connecticut needs statewide testing for hazardous PFAS chemicals at public water systems, many private wells, landfills, airports, firefighting training schools and industrial sites, according to a final task force report released Monday..."

The 29 page action plan:

COURANT scoops everybody... ..

WHAT WILL AUTUMN 2019 BRING?  More foam in Farmington River
Autumn note:
Here's a link to the mid-September COURANT article:

...“Food in general is a significant contributor to the public [exposure],” Toal said. “Everyone has some PFAS in their blood. To a large extent that’s probably from food.”

Lamont gave the task force an Oct. 1 deadline to submit an initial draft. Once public comments are incorporated, a final report will be submitted by Nov. 1.

Toal said only five of the 4,700 PFAS chemicals have been identified as toxic, and there is too little information on the rest to make a definitive conclusion about their health effects. Other states and countries have moved to classify them as as potentially hazardous as a group rather than individually, he said.

“There’s a national push to try to consider all of these as a class of substances that should be regulated,” Toal said....

OCT. 1 report in full:

I thought so...we watched press conference on Bradley crash of antique plane...
A new aspect to PFAS - oldest Regional Planning entity anywhere in the U.S.A. sues D.E.E.P.  While PFAS testing statewide going on, more last paragraph here (HOUR 10-4-19).



Connecticut is after public water supply and water utilities;  state revolving loan subsidies.  What number to test for? 70pptrillion.  Air discharges?

Surface water draining basis?  Trouble spots FIRST.  Great contribution from Yale.

Don't know where they are and G.I.S. data level.



Connecticut Interagency PFAS Task Force Committee Meeting
Recorded On: 8/28/2019


How to evaluate background?  Drainage basin by basin x "universe."  Test soil?  Effluent upstream sources, discharge limits.  Soil remediation options.

Reaching out to Vermont and New Hampshire.  U.S.G.S.?



August 16, 2019:

Friday afternoon run by DPH -  August 16, 2019

Friday morning session run by D.E.E.P.

AUGUST MEETING:  All morning.  Introduction of everyone in the audience.  Releases of PFAS.  "DOTS" for priority.  We note there was another meeting that was referred to as well.
"Share your thoughts" hoho - they refer to "parking lots" as well.  Reference to Washington, New Hampshire and Vermont and some other. Potential sites  Training, air ports, landfills, industries (i.e. chrome plating).



AUGUST MEETING - afternoon session until 3pm...we watched this first.

Air pollution can be a threat to reservoir systems.  Aquarion (r.) makes some excellent points!  What's with "parking lot" reference?

Communication and over communication.

SOURCES?  Representative of MDC (r.) got a tongue lashing in the morning session...
But of course, this process is duplicative. Which is worse?  Not enough or too much communication???  LIST SERVE.  We reserve comment.


Another interim report from the Courant:  Don't know for sure but leakage from closed landfills - "forever chemicals" the new environmental threat?

Interim report on PFAS:
From the Courant Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Interesting item - in it the D.E.E.P. Commissioner points out that there are no national drinking water standards for PFAS:

“'PFAS presents a unique threat to our drinking water supplies,' Lori Matthieu, head of the state Department of Public Health’s drinking water unit, said. She said Connecticut has more than 300,000 private wells serving 800,000 residents that could be at risk."

Another quote:

"'...PFAS, which stands for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, is used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer products. PFAS compounds have been used fire suppression foams, non-stick cookware, rain gear, stain-resistant carpet, and grease resistant food packaging like pizza boxes. Officials said these chemicals are now “omnipresent in the environment' and are found in the blood of nearly all humans."

DRINKING WATER:  The more unusual the issue, # of labs skilled enough test decreases - degraded surface water quality testing lab in CT?  Nope:

"  Pociu said the types of fish being tested include smallmouth bass, which is a predatory game fish, and white suckers, a bottom feeder. Experts caught 15 fish of each species at two locations, one upriver from the spill as a control, and one near the point at which the PFAS foam entered the river.

"PFAS is 'ubiquitous in the environment', state environmental experts said. Previous tests of Farmington River water taken upriver from the spill point also showed the presence of these chemical compounds, but at much lower levels than close to the outflow pipe through which the firefighting foam flowed into the river.

"A second round of water testing showed PFAS levels in the Farmington below the spill had dropped considerably in the week after the June 8 incident.

"The fish samples of each species from each location were ground up together, frozen and shipped overnight to the British Columbia lab for testing, Pociu said.

“'The analysis itself is not cheap' said Pociu, who is part of the state PFAS task force created by Lamont. She said tests of individuals samples can range from $200-$400 each."

COURANT story in fill:


COURANT story:
From the COURANT article - quotes:

CT-N INSTANT...Governor Lamont presser July 8, 2019 as we watch it live:  DRINKING WATER related to spill in upstate river.

Governor Lamont may be wondering why no one is saying "great idea!"

Representative Steinberg present to explain why bill didn't pass this year on the same issue.  It was unanimous out of PH Committee but had a fiscal note.


"Contorted by the cold, some of them a century old or more, water mains in the Hartford area have been breaking over the past week at a rate of more than five per day..."

M.D.C. story:

How to relate to this if you live in Weston:  We just worry about any pipes freezing, period.  Common well to 28 homes near transfer station we suppose managed by Aquarion (?)


Please read more about this first here then here And below, the quote at the end of the article

"...There is a newly arisen possibility for resolving the current mess, outside of a renewed complaint to the FOI Commission, and his name is David Silverstone. Silverstone was announced more than a week ago as the new consumer advocate for MDC customers, effective Jan. 1.

"His part-time MDC position was created under a new reform law that legislators passed in reaction to public dissatisfaction with the MDC’s handling of its deal with Niagara, and Silverstone said he’ll be gearing up before he officially starts. As part of that, he’ll meet next week with members of Save Our Water CT.

"Rossetti said she’ll be interested in what Silverstone says about whether the MDC information should be released. Silverstone said he knows he’ll need to take a position on the issue, but is 'not there yet'.”

DOES THIS AFFECT WESTON?  YES - The Ravenwood system as well (no pun intended) as the Town/School water supply wells.  Also, we note the implications of this (related to cluster zoning):

Sec. 129. (NEW) (Effective from passage until June 30, 2019) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner's designee;

(2) "Community water system" means a public water system that regularly serves at least twenty-five residents;

(3) "Customer" means any person, firm, corporation, company, association, governmental unit, lessee that, by the terms of a written lease or agreement, is responsible for the water bill, or owner of property that receives water service furnished by the water company;

(4) "Consumer" has the same meaning as provided in section 25-32a of the general statutes;

(5) "Department" means the Department of Public Health;

(6) "Noncommunity water system" means a public water system that serves at least twenty-five persons at least sixty days of the year and is not a community water system;

(7) "Nontransient noncommunity public water system" means a public water system that is not a community public water system and that regularly serves at least twenty-five of the same persons over six months per year;

(8) "Transient noncommunity public water system" means a noncommunity water system that does not meet the definition of a nontransient noncommunity water system;

(9) "Public water system" means a water company that supplies drinking water to fifteen or more consumers or twenty-five or more persons daily at least sixty days of the year;

(10) "Service connections" mean the total number of service pipes from the main to the curb stop or adjacent to the street line or property line, but shall not include a service pipe used for fire service purposes only; and

(11) "Water company" has the same meaning as provided in section 25-32a of the general statutes.

(b) Each water company that owns a community public water system or systems and each water company that owns a nontransient noncommunity public water system or systems shall annually pay to the department, until June 30, 2019, a safe drinking water primacy assessment to support the department's ability to maintain primacy under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 USC 300f, et seq. If a water company is acquired by another water company for any reason, the acquiring water company shall pay the acquired water company's amount due to the department, until June 30, 2019, for the safe drinking water primacy assessment.

(c) On or before March 1, 2018, and annually thereafter until June 30, 2019, each water company that owns a community water system or systems shall report to the department in a form and manner prescribed by the department the number of service connections that its community public water system or systems served in the preceding calendar year, which number may be subject to audit by the department.

(d) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, the safe drinking water primacy assessment shall not exceed two million five hundred thousand dollars. Each nontransient noncommunity public water system and community water system having less than fifty service connections shall be assessed one hundred twenty-five dollars. Each community water system having at least fifty but less than one hundred service connections shall be assessed one hundred fifty dollars. Each community water system having at least one hundred service connections shall be assessed an amount established by the commissioner not to exceed four dollars per service connection.

(e) On or before July 1, 2018, and annually thereafter until June 30, 2019, the department, in consultation with the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, shall:

(1) Post on the department's Internet web site the costs to support the department's ability to maintain primacy under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 USC 300f, et seq. , which costs shall constitute the safe drinking water primacy assessment for the relevant fiscal year; and

(2) Post on the department's Internet web site the assessment amount due, based on the costs posted under subdivision (1) of this subsection, for each service connection a community water system serves and the assessment amount due for each nontransient noncommunity water system.

(f) (1) On or before October 1, 2018, the department shall issue an invoice to each water company that owns a community water system or systems for the assessment amount due based on the number of service connections the community water system or systems serves.

(2) On or before January 1, 2019, each water company that owns a community water system or systems shall pay to the department fifty per cent of the assessment amount due for such water company. On or before May 31, 2019, and annually thereafter, each water company shall pay to the department the remaining fifty per cent of its assessment amount due.

(g) (1) On or before January 1, 2019, the department shall issue an invoice to each water company that owns a nontransient noncommunity water system or systems for the assessment amount due.

(2) On or before March 1, 2019, each water company that owns a nontransient noncommunity water system or systems shall pay to the department the assessment amount due for such water company.

(h) (1) A water company that owns a community water system may collect the assessment amount due for the community water system from a customer of such community water system. The amount collected by the water company from an individual customer may be a pro rata share of such assessment amount. Such amount may appear as a separate item on the customer's bills.

(2) The assessment amount due for a community water system under subdivision (1) of this subsection may be adopted in rates through the existing rate approval process for the water company or may appear as a separate item identified as a safe drinking water primacy assessment on each customer's water bill without requiring a revision to or approval of the schedule of authorized rates and charges for the water company that is otherwise required pursuant to section 7-239 or 16-19 of the general statutes or any other special act or enabling legislation establishing a water company. Such charges shall be subject to the past due and collection procedures, including interest charges, of the water company as are applicable to any other authorized customer charge or fee.

(i) The requirement for a water company to pay the safe drinking water primacy assessment shall terminate immediately if the department no longer has primacy under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 USC 300f, et seq. , whether removed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency or any other action by a state or federal authority. If the safe drinking water primacy assessment is terminated and not reinstated on or before one hundred eighty days after such termination, the water company shall credit its customers any amounts collected from such customers for such assessment amount that the water company is no longer required to pay to the department.

(j) The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to carry out the provisions of this section.

(k) If any safe drinking water primacy assessment is not paid on or before thirty days after the date when such assessment is due, the commissioner may impose a fee equal to one and one-half per cent of such assessment for each month of nonpayment beyond such initial thirty-day period.

(l) State agencies and transient noncommunity public water systems shall be exempt from the requirements of this section.

Sec. 130. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner's designee;

(2) "Community water system" means a public water system that regularly serves at least twenty-five residents;

(3) "Customer" means any person, firm, corporation, company, association, governmental unit, lessee that, by the terms of a written lease or agreement, is responsible for the water bill, or owner of property that receives water service furnished by the water company;

(4) "Department" means the Department of Public Health;

(5) "Noncommunity water system" means a public water system that serves at least twenty-five persons at least sixty days of the year and is not a community water system;

(6) "Nontransient noncommunity public water system" means a public water system that is not a community public water system and that regularly serves at least twenty-five of the same persons over six months per year;

(7) "Transient noncommunity public water system" means a noncommunity water system that does not meet the definition of a nontransient noncommunity water system; and

(8) "Water company" has the same meaning as provided in section 25-32a of the general statutes.

(b) On or before January 1, 2019, the commissioner, in consultation with the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and representatives of water companies, shall develop a methodology for a safe drinking water primacy assessment on community water systems and transient and nontransient noncommunity water systems for the purposes of meeting federal requirements for the department to maintain primacy for the enforcement of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 USC 300f, et seq. , as amended from time to time. The methodology shall include calculation of the fee to be assessed and procedures to implement the fee. In developing the methodology, the commissioner may consider the frequency and timing of customer billing and delinquency rates for customer payment. The commissioner shall provide for a public comment period of thirty days following the development of such methodology. At the conclusion of such public comment period, but not later than February 15, 2019, the commissioner shall submit his or her recommendation for legislation necessary to implement such methodology to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health.


Although we do not follow the Water Planning Council religiously, whenever we do tune in it is interesting and relevant!

This was an Advisory Group meeting, and turnover from old to new administration dominates.
A familiar faces abound!  Review about what else CT Water Plan says they should look at.  Another (Haskins) on the phone. 


W A T E R   P L A N N I N G    C O U N C I L :

Chair. John Betkoski, SITING COUNCIL???  OPM AND DEEP REPRESENTATIVES ABOVE;  Advisory Committee now will be a voting body.

UCONN C.L.E.A.R. mentioned.


Represented above are DPUC, OPM, DPH and DEEP members present (the whole group named in legislation)

Substitute House Bill No. 5424
Public Act No. 14-163 (just a part of the act below for your convenience - we hope to find out August first (next meeting of the Water Planning Council) or shortly thereafter what the final draft will look like and location and time for outreach and public hearings)

(c)  The  Water  Planning  Council  shall  provide  a  time  period  of  not  less  than  one  hundred  twenty  days  for  public  review  and  comment  prior to finalizing such plan. The Commissioners of Public Health and Energy  and  Environmental  Protection,  the  chairperson  of  the  Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and   Management   shall   post   such   draft   plan   and   information concerning  such  comment  period  in   a  conspicuous  location  on  their  respective web sites. The Council on  Environmental Quality shall post such  draft  plan  and  information  concerning  such  comment  period  in the   Environmental   Monitor.   The Water   Planning   Council   shall advertise and hold not less than one public hearing during such public
review  and  comment  period.  After  such  public  comment  period,  the council  shall  fully  consider  all  written  and  oral  comments  concerning the  proposed  state  water  plan.  The council  shall  make  available  the electronic text of the finalized state water plan on an Internet web site where  the  finalized  state  water  plan  shall  be  posted  and  a  report summarizing:  
(1)   All   public   comments   received   pursuant   to   this subsection,  and
(2)  the  changes  made to  the  finalized  state  water  plan in response to such comments and the reasons for such changes.


N O T I C E :   120 day public notice period for CT Water Plan draft beginning any minute
...great for summer reading at the beach!

CT Water Planning Council play-by-play of Wednesday July 5, 2017
meeting below.  We are beginning study with an examination of the underlying legislation.

FYI - Interesting observation by DEEP - they have a template for public information that indicated (hypothetically)if you contact 10,000 people you should expect 100 to visit a website and receive ten (10) responses in writing.  We will go over the law and the report when it gets online next week and try to figure out what it means for our town.

The "final report" somehow blended in to a discussion of New Britain proposal for a new storage reservoir (requiring clearing of forest, open space) for retraction of minerals prior to construction of reservoir.

Members of W.P.C.: DPUC, DPH, DEEP, OPM, and advisory committee - environmental consultant, state DEEP staff, regional planner, A.C.I.R.;  talented environmental engineer.  Below public comment on plan - which is supposed to be on DEEP, DPH and OPM websites pronto  - COMMENTS DESIRED FROM PUBLIC.

Blowing up a large block of land.  CEQ and data questions from WPC expose fixed aspect.  Blistering critique.  Evaluation of study?  "Homeland security" on birds info?  Water quantity?  Groundwater?

Watch for  1)a Plan summary report and  2)recommendation for interconnection formalized between companies and regions - in statute section 22a-352 of the C.G.S.- Section 1 (b) (5).

And then is was over.  NEXT MEETING AUGUST 1, 2017


As some legislators say, "I get that" but in Weston we really do "get" the importance of maintaining the  natural water cycle.
Lurking below the surface of the Saugatuck Reservoir (l. and in drought, r.) is the threat of possible future siphoning off stored waters for sale and related depletion of CT groundwater supplies.


Orange and red "dry" land in CT by 22nd century, perhaps.
Sea level rise model, artist's interpretation, above, in land use colors.


Conservation director noted in article below and the latest one on 2016 drought..

Aquarion asks people to conserve water
Channel 12
Updated September 25, 2015 5:17 PM

GREENWICH - Aquarion Water Company and Greenwich town officials are asking residents to reduce water consumption due to a dry spell that has hit the region.

Town officials say the water level is unusually low.

"It's down probably 10 to 15 feet from where we often see it," says Denise Savageau, conservation director.

The current water level is the lowest experts have seen in the last four years. Decreasing water levels is a pattern they have noticed over the past decade. They say it is a result of the lack of rain...Channel 12 story in full:

NWS: Drought conditions to worsen
Danbury News-Times
By Jim Shay
Updated 6:23 am, Friday, September 18, 2015

With rainfall more than five inches below normal - and no significant rain over the next several days - the National Weather Service says drought conditions are expected to worsen.

The driest conditions are found in the southern third of Connecticut, including all of Fairfield County and most of New Haven County. The area is classified as having a “moderate drought,” according to Drought Monitor that released its update on the dry state of affairs on Thursday.

The rest of Connecticut, including Litchfield, Hartford, Tolland and Windham and (northern) New London counties fared slightly and are classified as having “abnormally dry” conditions...story in full:


What is the relation between hot weather (defined here as over 90 degrees F) and groundwater supply?  Ans. - we're working on a scientific explanation, but from what we already know, it can be hot as hell in cities as well as deserts, and the answer is "infrastructure" to pipe water to cities from elsewhere.  But what is the story "elsewhere" re:  water or groundwater supply?

Some articles on relation of heat to drought (California examples):

And in Europe:  :

How about Alaska?
Why are some Alaska salmon and halibut getting smaller?
Sean Doogan, Alaska Dispatch News
September 17, 2015

With the end of Alaska's biggest fish derby earlier this week, salmon and halibut anglers are hanging up their poles -- waiting for the return of spring -- and with it, another flood of fish into local streams, creeks and rivers. And while many local freezers may brim with fish, chances are, the fillets are a little smaller than in years past.

How small? Well, the 224-pound flatfish that won the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby this week was the lightest winner in the derby's 30-year history -- and a whopping 134 pounds shy of Chugiak angler Jerry Saunders' derby record, caught in 2007...story in full:

The State of Connecticut is on top of the water status issue. 

Index page:

Direct links here:|


Always at the center of a story, "About Town" was in Milford during this "Nemo" event - cameraphone pics.

Dumping plowed snow into bodies of water raises a few environmental issues

Jan Ellen Spiegel, CT MIRROR
February 11, 2013

With huge quantities of snow lining Connecticut roads, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is giving cities and towns an option for getting rid of it -- dump it in the water.

"We're going to have to put the snow someplace," said Guilford Director of Public Works Jim Portley, who figured they wouldn't start dumping until next week, "and it's a great opportunity to get rid of the snow."

Environmentalists aren't up in arms. "This is an emergency," said Roger Reynolds of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. "We understand that the snow has to go somewhere."

But Reynolds said there are concerns. "It's similar to dumping municipal solid waste in the waterway," he said. "When plows pick snow up, there's inevitably some debris."

DEEP is aware of this and has established a fairly strict protocol for dumping snow: It should be considered a last resort. All upland dumping locations must be fully exhausted. The snow cannot contain anything other than the road treatments used for melting snow. DEEP must be notified first. And the snow must be kept away from drinking water and sensitive areas such as wetlands.

"We have to strike a balance of protecting the environment with public safety and emergency needs," said Oswald Inglese, director of DEEP's water permitting and enforcement division...

But there is also concern about its replacement.

"Chloride -- that's the environmental concern," Inglese said. Long-term use can have toxic impacts, he said. "We see impairments in the health of aquatic ecosystems."

But the biggest problem is if chlorides are dumped into inland fresh water. Inglese said for large fast-flowing rivers or Long Island Sound itself: "We're not as concerned."

While many municipalities are thought to have switched to mixtures similar to DOT's, a few of those contacted by the CT Mirror have not.

* Guilford, which said it intended to dump its snow in the water, though it had not yet notified DEEP, uses a 4:1 sand-salt mixture.
*  New Haven told DEEP it might dump snow in the water but later said, "We have no intention of dumping in the Sound," said Public Works Director Doug Arndt. The city has been using sand and salt to treat roads during this storm.
*  Milford, one of the hardest hit towns with nearly 40 inches of snow, also uses a sand-salt mixture that is mostly sand. "We don't believe it's going to get to that point," said Mayor Blake Benjamin of the possibility of dumping snow in the water. "I think that's the last resort. "You've got to be worried about if there's any kind of oil in it."
*  Branford switched to pure salt this year, which First Selectman Anthony "Unk" DaRos said is working better than the old mixture on the nearly 3 feet of snow the town received...

Please search the CT MIRROR archives for the remainder of this story.

At  D.E.E.P. Hearing:  A familiar face?

Stricter Regulation Of Water Supply Discussed At Hearing
Hartford Courant article Dec. 20, 2016


This is a big deal:
Especially when you consider that PFAS money to settle with the State may double the tax payers, whether in MDC area of other places in CT, who will foot the bill of cleanup.

Consumer Advocate named, Friday, November 10, 2017

Remember the MDC PH below?

First meeting - MDC Pension Committee complains about social media.  Niagra Water Bottle.  Can't be out for hours.  Debt escalating because of regs.

MDC Headquarters - Economic Development/Pension
Dec. 5, 2016 - morning committee meetings
OOPS - hundreds resigning within the next five years.  MDC to develop new job descriptions.  (This is how you reduce employment base that drives costs up.)  Doing more with less.  Selling water to outside actors to pay off debt.  West Hartford meeting was sewer issue - now they are asking about water?  "Don't Worry About It" - right.   SOCIAL MEDIA SEEN AS PROBLEM.  Adjourn after 33 minutes.

Second meeting of sub-committee on community affairs


MDC Headquarters - Community Affairs Committee
Dec. 5, 2016 - after lunch

Need for Information-Communication Director - sounds like a job for Democrat who has retired from the Legislature.  Community "Engagement" Officer instead?  Monthly meetings, etc.  What's the difference?  Including transparency.  Update on GPS.
C.R.R.A. fight as an example.  Bloomfield resident at right above, announces he is just back from Standing Rock protest (we would imagine that he uses social media).  We note that previous publi8c speaker from West Hartford "no longer trusts" MDC since they made their "secret" deal to sell water to Niagra.

54 minutes.

Third meeting government sub-committee - PUBLIC HEARING
Dec. 5, 2016 5pm - almost a three-hour public hearing...PH ran from 1:01 to 2:24.

INDUSTRIAL RATE:  Water and Sewer rules PH.  3 minute rule, pro-con.  Remove cost to industry seems to be the intent.  History of MDC given...we will resume following this meeting later...

Eight towns and partners -


THE PUBLIC HEARING get the drift (punctuation marks separate individual comments [not every speaker has a picture])

Anti-Niagra - not a stable solution;
Protect water supply for future generations - protect the watershed (;
Retired but against;
Against - impact if Hartford goes bankrupt;  Anti-Niagra;
West Hartford resident - asks how they make decisions?
Farmington River - for or against?  State water plan says...what?  Water shortages elsewhere...
In favor but favors transparencies;
Another;  Favors.  Favors suspending Niagra deal.  "Legions of attorneys."
Great explanation;  and another brilliant comment (regarding "slipping one through");  transparency issue;  Feb. 2015/March/August/ pulled the  plug use of public commodity testimony.
Don't worry - hah - brings up overall bad policy.  Simsbury thanks Bloomfield for making good on policy changes proposed;  do the right thing;  permanently rescind;  light - clean sustainable action;  water bottling company Aquifina example - this guy's really onto something!  Conservation and Environmental Justice argument - we are all on the same ship;  resignations from all who supported it;  West Hartford picking up tab...shouldn't Niagra pay?  No more high volume rate.  You do not have to pay for Hartford.

Isn't this a hoot?  Now a State Representative - used to be CT Siting Council.  Repeal is not enough.  Watchdog needed;  another;  another;   no subsidies for profit-making companies;  Environmental Justice argument against commuters' argument regional tax sharing (my words);  water not a commodity - no soul - work together to find a better way;  no more business as usual - change;   water is not a replaceable commodity...

P A R A D I G M    S H I F T
"Nero fiddled while Rome burned" analogy - very funny considering the need for water to put out fires...Park River watershed green infrastructure.  FOR SHAME - RESIGN - LIFE AND DEATH FOR FUTURE.  The future.  So glad everybody showed up - called the MDC out on having the public's water to private water bottle - Bloomfield is mad.  Even polite people.  PH over at 2:24.


FOURTH MEETING:  The end of a day of meetings "televised" on CT-N.



No public comment made at end...they were probably dizzy from all the procedural motions and striking this and reverting to that...

Chairman Dibella presiding...but for how long?  SEEC investigating residency in MDC area.
Next, counsel, then member who had some questions; the way it looked; and the CFO reports - all the crisis was caused by an attempt to go out for bonding at the same time that Hartford was warning of problems.

Designated fund for sewer expenditures.  And how to segregate water and industrial rate and CLEAN WATER project.  They raise money off guaranteed water rates.  Debt is driving the water rate.  What is the capacity?  Deep drought.  Rates.  No discounted rates.  An issue for competition for economic development.  Water bottling company - cannot determine land use.  MDC does not determine zoning and development. Selling bonds without reserve a "no go."

Chairman and District Counsel listened and understand that revenue and clean water project conflict - you need revenue to do the environmental project.  Debt has to be paid ($1.6 billion - 65% subsidized by the state);  climate change and deep drought - rates go thru the roof???  Intra and inter state competition.  Pick and choose who to sell to, then you become the land use body.  AHAH!!!  If they get more power, they will get sued!

Reservoir capacity trigger.  Must conserve.  Moody report.  D.E.E.P. Public Hearing on diversion permit.  Fee waiver requested for industrial user (Trader Joes).  CFO report. Incentivize correcting leaks.  Reduce cost of New Britain water;  wastewater sewer surcharge. 

NOW I UNDERSTAND HOW MDC OPERATES:  Chairman and staff make the decisions and set agenda - no way multi-member private agency bothers to ask their members much except thru sub-committee process. 
NOTE:  Please be familiar with Roberts Rules or similar handbooks of procedure.  Otherwise you are lost...which is what most of the members are.  Their only way to makes their opinions known and rein in staff and Chair. is under Public Comment (Commissioners allowed to speak at end presumably prior to public).


Question of who has what power to collect $$?  On the issue of keeping local members' appointing bodies informed...begs to differ re:  Bloomfield decision on whether or not to welcome Niagra.

Water rate - good luck figuring out what they are doing - sewer too.  There is applause.  Wants to make sure other contracts will be honored.  Treated water issue - will "untreated" to Collinsville be the same?  What are the real risks?

Coming attractions for Long Session:  53% non-taxable property in Hartford.  Economic development powers for MDC coming?  3.53 adjourned, MDC part of all-day, or so it seemed, meeting.


November 22, 2016 meeting - it is painful to watch - they are soooo incompetent as bureaucrats.  Metro District gives the finger to towns w/o public water service to benefit MDC.
HARTFORD COURANT news story Dec. 1, 2016:
Summary:  Moody's pleased.  "...The Metropolitan District's reserve fund, approved reluctantly by member towns, was tagged as a positive step by Moody's Investors Service, though the ratings agency warned the designation could change if the fund is later eliminated."

The reserve plan, adopted as part of the district's budget, forces member towns to each pay a portion of Hartford's sewer fees should the city become insolvent.

What a bunch of crap.  Yes, crap - there will be a public hearing at another time for customer sewer service charge.  And how about water???  Manufacturing needs water.

Item #8
This is all about drought and Public Hearing December 5, 2016.  DiBella explains how development can be controlled by Metro District.  Rates are the major part...economic development tool.
This is related to another interest we have -  Metropolitan District Commission water supplies could be a way to make $$.

Selling water.  We decided there was too much Roberts Rules language going down to cover for other perhaps illegal discussion of items not on the agenda we bailed!

UConn Picks Connecticut Water To Solve Its Water Woes
Board Of Trustees To Vote On Proposal Wednesday
The Hartford Courant

7:20 PM EDT, August 5, 2013

The University of Connecticut has chosen Connecticut Water Co.'s proposal to bring 2 million gallons of water a day to the Storrs campus to solve its water woes, sources said Monday.

The selection eliminates a controversial $51 million plan by the Metropolitan District Commission to build a 20-mile pipeline from East Hartford that would have drawn water from the Barkhamsted and Nepaug reservoirs. Opponents assailed the plan, saying it would draw down the watershed of the Farmington River, a popular recreation spot...

Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the remainder of this story.

Water shortages come home to Connecticut

Neena Satija, CT MIRROR
February 12, 2013

The controversy over the University of Connecticut's proposals to quench its thirst shows that water isn't just the Southwestern states’ problem anymore.

The Northeast has often been seen as a water-rich part of the country and, in fact, the amount of rainfall in Connecticut has actually increased slightly in the last century. But weather patterns have become more erratic: In recent years, for instance, we've seen wetter winters, but drier summers. The historic blizzard that Connecticut is still digging out from this week is a perfect example.

"It's kind of like the difference between having a steady job where you get a paycheck every week ... and being a consultant where you may have feast or famine in your cash flow," said Pat Bresnahan, former associate director of the University of Connecticut's Water Resources Institute. "With climate change it might be something very similar..."

Please search the CT MIRROR archives for the remainder of this story.

From the Federal level:

Seven-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day of the year (CT):|m__pa07d_nwc&r=ct

Map of real-time stream compared to historical streamflow for the day of the year (CT):


U.S.G.S.  Connecticut Real-Time Network

U.S.G.S.  Connecticut Active Water Level Network

Western drought starting to squeeze Connecticut farmers
Charlotte Adinolfi
Published 12:30 a.m., Tuesday, August 21, 2012

For Ben Freund, owner of Freund's Farm, Inc. in East Canaan, is anticipating the worst for his farm and his ability to produce his annual products in the coming months.

The cows on Freund's farm are fed by feed and supplements shipped in from other parts of the country...

Please search the CT POST archives for the remainder of this story.

What drought looks like.
S A U G A T U C K    R E S E R V O I R    D E C E M B E R    2 0 1 6   A B O V E
Saugatuck Reservoir in August 2012, immediately below.  These 2012 photos below show water surrounding exposed islands.

BELOW - Saugatuck Reservoir from same spot in Redding (pulloff with view of island) in decending order (June, May, April 2012)

State In Minor Drought, But Local Crop Prices Unlikely To Rise
The Hartford Courant
5:45 PM EDT, July 21, 2012

Connecticut's dry summer has left many lawns brown but farmers say it will have no effect on the state's crop prices. Despite Friday's rain, greater Hartford has received only 28 percent of the normal rainfall through July 20, said Andy Mussoline, a meteorologist at

Typically, the area gets about 2.47 inches of rain at this time of year, but has only received .68 inches so far, he said. For Tony Botticello of Botticello Farms, the dry spell has meant more work for him and his farmers. At his farm in Manchester, farmers must continue to irrigate and pump water from the nearby Connecticut River — resulting in some farmers working as late as midnight.

"It's a lot more work," Botticello said. "If we didn't do that, we wouldn't be able to harvest anything..."

Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the remainder of this story.

After no snow this winter, are we due for another drought?  Lack of infrastructure such as water and sewer lines is a hallmark in Weston.  Past history here.


PUN WARNING:  Well, now.  What to do when:  Standards change, property changes hands?  Hire a lawyer!

Over 80 Percent of Water Is Polluted in Tested China Wells
APRIL 11, 2016

And standards change based upon rainfall and run off history?

AND NOW FLOODING TREND...?  How about Stormwater runoff regs?

Greenwich officials close middle school fields due to toxin levels
September 1, 2016 1:30 PM

Follow up by the State?

Neighbors’ tests show arsenic, lead in Western Middle School soil
Greenwich TIME
By Paul Schott Updated 8:19 pm, Wednesday, April 20, 2016

GREENWICH — Soil tests commissioned by neighbors on Western Middle School’s grounds show high levels of arsenic and lead...story in full:

Most CT schools don’t test water for lead, but that could change
By: Ana Radelat | April 1, 2016

Washington – The drinking fountains at Burr District Elementary School have been off limits to the school’s 250 students since a test in 2001 found the water they spouted had a level of lead that required the school, under federal law, to take remedial action...

Story in full:




Do you think we will have to do this?

WATER QUALITY IN WESTON:  What standards for testing FROM THE TAP were recommended in 1993?  See page 11 -  onus on the approved lab doing the test...





Avoiding Bioenergy Competition for Food Crops and Land, Creating a Sustainable Food Future, Installment Nine
by Tim Searchinger and Ralph Heimlich - January 2015     

Installment 9 of Creating a Sustainable Food Future shows that any dedicated use of land for growing bioenergy inherently comes at the cost of not using that land for growing food or animal feed, or for storing carbon.

Working paper on biofuels...

Making Sense of Water
Mark Bittman
APRIL 14, 2015

BERKELEY, Calif. — Almost every number used to analyze California’s drought can be debated, but this can be safely said: No level of restrictions on residential use can solve the problem. The solution lies with agriculture, which consumes more than its fair share.

That doesn’t mean homeowners can’t and shouldn’t cut back.

But according to estimates by the Public Policy Institute of California, more water was used to grow almonds in 2013 than was used by all homes and businesses in San Francisco and Los Angeles put together. Even worse, most of those almonds are then exported — which means, effectively, that we are exporting water. Unless you’re the person or company making money off this deal, that’s just nuts.

California produces more than 400 commodities in many different climates, so it’s difficult to generalize about agriculture. Many farmers are cutting back on water use, planting geographically appropriate crops and shifting to techniques that make sense, like “dry” farming. Others, however, are mining water as they would copper: When it runs out, they’ll find new ways to make money.

So the big question is not, “How do we survive the drought?” — which could well be the new normal — but, “How do we allocate water sensibly?” California grows fruits and vegetables for everyone; that’s a good thing. It would be an even better thing, however, if some of that production shifted to places like Iowa, once a leading grower of produce. That could happen again, if federal policy subsidized such crops, rather than corn, on some of that ultra-fertile land...story in full:

Amid drought, water-use penalties hit Bay Area

Kurtis Alexander, SFGATE
Updated 10:45 pm, Saturday, May 17, 2014

Here comes the chapter of California's drought story where things get testy.

Asking people to conserve water? No problem. Ordering them to cut back or else pay up? Those are fighting words...for full story click above.

Holiday storms do little to help US drought, although rains ease conditions some in Southeast
Washington Post
By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, January 3, 10:58 AM

ST. LOUIS — Holiday storms that pounded much of the nation with snow and rain did little to ease the overall grip of the worst U.S. drought in decades.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows that about 61 percent of the continental U.S. remained in some form of drought as of Tuesday, down less than a percentage point from the previous week. That number has been above 60 percent largely since July.

More than 21 percent of the lower 48 states are in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories. That’s down slightly from the previous week.

All of Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota are in drought.

But some areas in the Southeast are emerging from drought after heavy rains since Christmas Day.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A Record Worth Wilting For: Death Valley Is Hotter Than ...
December 28, 2012

URNACE CREEK, Calif. — For Death Valley, a place that embraces its extremes, this has long been an affront: As furnace-hot as it gets here, it could not lay claim to being the hottest place on earth. That honor, as it were, has gone since 1922 to a city on the northwestern tip of Libya.

Until now. After a yearlong investigation by a team of climate scientists, the World Meteorological Organization, the climate agency of the United Nations, announced this fall that it was throwing out a reading of 136.4 degrees claimed by the city of Al Aziziyah on Sept. 13, 1922. It made official what anyone who has soldiered through a Death Valley summer afternoon here could attest to. There is no place hotter in the world. A 134-degree reading registered on July 10, 1913, at Greenland Ranch here is now the official world record...

Please search the NYTIMES archives for the remainder of this story.

Drought’s impact on food prices could worsen hunger in America
By Jason Sickles
21 August 2012

More than 18 percent of Americans say there have been times this year when they couldn't afford the food they needed, according to a Gallup poll released on Tuesday.

That plight could grow because of the country's worst drought in half a century. The U.S. Department of Agriculture warned last month that Americans should expect to pay 3 to 5 percent more for groceries next year because of the drought.

"While Americans are no more likely to struggle to afford food thus far in 2012 than in the past, more residents may face problems as the drought-related crop damage results in a shortage of inputs in the food supply and begins to affect retail prices," the Gallup report stated.
ulture and Rural Development Department. "The world has enough food, but of course we cannot predict the weather and if something extraordinary happens we might find ourselves in a difficult situation again..."

Please search the YAHOO archives for the remainder of this story.

In Midst of a Drought, Keeping Traffic Moving on the Mississippi
August 19, 2012

ABOARD THE DREDGE POTTER, on the Mississippi River — This ship is making sure that the Big River, shrinking under one of the worst droughts in modern history, stays deep enough.

The Potter is scooping this stretch of the Mississippi River’s navigation channel just south of St. Louis, the ship’s 32-foot-wide head sucking up about 60,000 cubic yards of sediment each day and depositing it via a long discharge pipe a thousand feet to the side in a violent, muddy plume that smells like muck and summer...

Connecticut shown as "abnormally dry" this week...

Report: Drought Intensifies in Kansas, Nebraska

August 16, 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new report suggests that while recent rains stabilized the devastating drought gripping Iowa and other key farming states, the dry conditions intensified in Kansas and Nebraska.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows the overall expanse of land across the contiguous U.S. states weathering some form of drought dropped less than 1 percent to 61.8 percent as of Tuesday.

In Iowa, the nation's leader in corn production, the amount of land mired in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications — dropped 7 percentage points to 62.05 percent over the past week.

But the amount of Nebraska in exceptional drought spiked 19 percentage points to 22.5 percent, while that number in Kansas rose from 38.6 percent last week to 63.3 percent now.

Half of US counties now considered disaster areas
By JIM SUHR | Associated Press
2 August 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states were added Wednesday to the U.S. government's list of natural disaster areas as the nation's agriculture chief unveiled new help for frustrated, cash-strapped farmers and ranchers grappling with extreme dryness and heat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's addition of the 218 counties means that more than half of all U.S. counties — 1,584 in 32 states — have been designated primary disaster areas this growing season, the vast majority of them mired in a drought that's considered the worst in decades.

Counties in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming were included in Wednesday's announcement. The USDA uses the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor to help decide which counties to deem disaster areas, which makes farmers and ranchers eligible for federal aid, including low-interest emergency loans.

To help ease the burden on the nation's farms, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday opened up 3.8 million acres of conservation land for ranchers to use for haying and grazing. Under that conservation program, farmers have been paid to take land out of production to ward against erosion and create wildlife habitat...

Please search the YAHOO archives for the remainder of this story.

Toxic Waters: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost to Health

September 13, 2009

Jennifer Hall-Massey knows not to drink the tap water in her home near Charleston, W.Va.

In fact, her entire family tries to avoid any contact with the water. Her youngest son has scabs on his arms, legs and chest where the bathwater — polluted with lead, nickel and other heavy metals — caused painful rashes. Many of his brother’s teeth were capped to replace enamel that was eaten away.

Neighbors apply special lotions after showering because their skin burns. Tests show that their tap water contains arsenic, barium, lead, manganese and other chemicals at concentrations federal regulators say could contribute to cancer and damage the kidneys and nervous system.

“How can we get digital cable and Internet in our homes, but not clean water?” said Mrs. Hall-Massey, a senior accountant at one of the state’s largest banks.

She and her husband, Charles, do not live in some remote corner of Appalachia. Charleston, the state capital, is less than 17 miles from her home.

“How is this still happening today?” she asked.

When Mrs. Hall-Massey and 264 neighbors sued nine nearby coal companies, accusing them of putting dangerous waste into local water supplies, their lawyer did not have to look far for evidence. As required by state law, some of the companies had disclosed in reports to regulators that they were pumping into the ground illegal concentrations of chemicals — the same pollutants that flowed from residents’ taps.

But state regulators never fined or punished those companies for breaking those pollution laws.

This pattern is not limited to West Virginia. Almost four decades ago, Congress passed the Clean Water Act to force polluters to disclose the toxins they dump into waterways and to give regulators the power to fine or jail offenders. States have passed pollution statutes of their own. But in recent years, violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation, an extensive review of water pollution records by The New York Times found...see link for full story.

Crops in India Wilt in a Weak Monsoon Season
September 3, 2012

MURUMA, India — Vilas Dinkar Mukane lives halfway around the world from the corn farmers of Iowa, but the Indian sharecropper is at risk of losing his livelihood for the same reason: not enough rain.

With the nourishing downpours of the annual monsoon season down an average of 12 percent across India and much more in some regions, farmers in this village about 250 miles east of Mumbai are on the brink of disaster. “If this situation continues, I’ll lose everything,” said Mr. Mukane, whose soybean, sugarcane and cotton crops were visibly stunted and wilting in his fields recently. “Nothing can happen without water.”

Drought has devastated crops around the world this year, including corn and soybeans in the United States, wheat in Russia and Australia and soybeans in Brazil and Argentina. This has contributed to a 6 percent rise in global food prices from June to July, according to United Nations data.

India is experiencing its fourth drought in a dozen years, raising concerns about the reliability of the country’s primary source of fresh water, the monsoon rains that typically fall from June to October...

Please search the NYTIMES archives for the remainder of this story.

From Aquarion:  The company is asking customers to undertake these voluntary measures: