Officials Pleased With Energy, Environmental Bills
The state's top environmental official says he didn't get everything he asked for in the recent legislative session, but he's not complaining. "For energy issues, I don't think you can point to a better session that we've ever had." Gov. Dannel Malloy said, praising the outcome of the 2013 legislative session in terms of the environment. Lawmakers this session passed a broad set of energy and environmental bills that include increase investment in a natural gas expansion plan and in energy efficiency programs. Among the things that passed this session were: Cleaning up contaminated areas, leftover from the industrial era, storm preparations for shoreline communities. The bills include funding for clean and renewable energy with state assistance for people who can convert to natural gas. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner Dan Esty says part of the sessions achievement is simply in making it easier for DEEP to do do a better job as an overseer by making it easier for projects to move forward. "So, we have about 15 different outdated, outmoded or duplicitous laws that we were able to take off the books," he said. A $1 billion bond package will include grants and loans to local wastewater treatment plants to update infrastructure, and to help ensure that they meet Environmental Protection Agency standards.