Council on Environmental Quality Gets An Earful About Bamboo

Dec 5, 2013

Credit CT-N

The Council on Environmental Quality met Thursday to hear public opinion on how the state's environmental laws might be improved. 

Karl Wagener, the council's executive director, said they received 25 letters on the topic of running bamboo. Running bamboo is a fast growing invasive plant that is hard to kill if not properly contained.

In October, lawmakers regulated the growth and sale of the plant, saying homeowners who don't contain their bamboo could be fined $100. But Theresa Groff from the Institute of Invasive Bamboo Research said the law isn't working. "The plant's been around for 40 million years. You're not going to kill it easily," she said. Groff added containment barriers are largely ineffective, and noted that the law has no power over bamboo planted prior to October.

Other issues discussed by the council included maintaining the state's Clean Water Fund, which prevents raw sewage discharges, and continuing funding for farmland preservation, which protects about 2,000 acres annually. The council also heard testimony on staffing levels at state parks, and fracking waste.

Watch the hearing in full here, via CT-N: