December 16, 2010. Middletown, CT. The State of Connecticut’s beautiful rivers and streams are threatened by withdrawals that could spell disaster for clean water and aquatic species. Please join us and our partners in contacting state legislators TODAY to urge them to support the proposed CT stream flow regulations, which aim to provide plentiful water for river life, water for swimming, paddling, and water for our future.

Here’s what the CT Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed Stream Flow Standards and Regulations would do:
• Protect existing water uses and ensure adequate water supplies are available for today and for future generations.
• Balance human needs for water with the needs of fish and wildlife.
• Protect all rivers and streams in CT, not just ones stocked with fish.

Background & Timeline

Over the past five years, the Department of Environmental Protection has worked intensively with water companies, Choicesenvironmental advocates, engineers, and others to negotiate proposed regulations to implement the stream flow law the legislature passed in 2005. (Read a history of the process.) The law mandated the DEP to develop regulations that will require major water users to accommodate minimum flows in all of our streams, while giving primary consideration to water supply needs.

In the Connecticut River watershed, for example, authorized diversions exceed natural summer flows in the Farmington and Hockanum Rivers and Stony Brook. DEP has made many concessions to the water industry at several stages over the past few years, including in the past two weeks. Nonetheless, river advocates consider the proposed regulations to be a very important, if very modest, step forward for water planning.

On December 21st the legislature’s Regulation Review Committee will take a critical vote, which we hope will be the culmination of a five-year process to create a law to provide more adequate stream flows for us and for Connecticut’s fish, frogs, turtles, birds—all wildlife that calls our rivers their home.

The result of that vote is very much in question, so it is critical that legislators, particularly members of the Regulation Review Committee, hear from as many constituents as possible that they should support this proposal. Legislators would like to hear what it is you care about—if there is a river or stream you love, especially if in their district, let them know.

What we need your help with:

Your voice is critical. What we need your help with:

1. Contact your decision makers and express your support for the proposed regs. Phone and/ or email the Regulations Review Committee. If you live in one of the towns represented by a member of the committee, please contact that member, otherwise, contact the Co-Chairs and Ranking Members identified below.

2. Come to the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford on December 21st when the regs will be voted on by the legislature’s Regulation Review Committee. Water utilities and lobbyists opposed to the regulations always have ample presence at these proceedings. Seeing the faces and hearing the voices of people who care about CT’s rivers amounts to critical people power we can only generate with your help. We can help facilitate your being there.

3. Help CRWC advocate for Connecticut rivers and streams – donate now.

Your phone call, email or letter to a legislator does not have to be long. Just state in the subject line and the first sentence that you are asking them to approve the stream flow regulations. If you have something personal you can add, about a river you know, add that in, or use one of the following points:

Points you can make:
• Too little water is just as big a threat to our fish as polluted water.
• The water in our streams belongs to all of our citizens – we’re asking the companies that sell water out of them to be sure to leave a bare minimum for other people and fish.
• These regulations are very balanced and give the water companies many years to adjust to them.
• The demand for water is probably going to increase in the future. We need to improve our systems now to be able to be sure we can meet future demands.

Questions?
Stream flow regs for CT rivers have been a long time coming and as river advocates, we want to see these important protections pushed forward. We have an open door policy to help answer any questions you might have about what is being proposed and how you can help. Contacts:

Jacqueline Talbot
Lower River Steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council
Email: jtalbot@ctriver.org Office: 860.704.0057

Margaret Miner
Executive Director of Rivers Alliance of CT
Email: rivers@riversalliance.org Office: 860.361.9349

David Sutherland
Director of Government Relations, The Nature Conservancy
Email: ct@tnc.org Office: 203-568-6297

Contact Info for Legislators

The list below contains the email addresses of the committee members. If you would prefer to write or call and need their number or mailing address, or if you want to confirm who your legislator is, go to www.cga.ct.gov Click on “House”; then click on “Find Your Legislator”; then scroll to your town and click on the House Districts next to it. If your town has more than one Representative, you’ll see a map you can use to determine who represents your part of town. Just click on the district number and your representative’s information will pop up. For Democrats, their contact info will be to the right of their name and picture; for Republicans there will be an email tag under the red “committee” rectangle near the top of the page. Do the same under “Senate” with “Find Your Legislator”; as soon as you click on the district number, contact info will pop up.

Again, please use the following contact information to phone and/or email the Regulations Review Committee. If you live in one of the towns represented by a member of the committee, please contact that member, otherwise, contact the Co-Chairs and Ranking Members identified below.

MEMBERS OF THE REGULATION REVIEW COMMITTEE and TOWNS THEY REPRESENT

Caligiuri, Sam S.F. – Waterbury, Cheshire, Southington, Wolcott – Sam.Caligiuri@cga.ct.gov
Candelaria, Juan R. – New Haven – Juan.Candelaria@cga.ct.gov
Candelora, Vincent J. – East Haven, Wallingford, North Branford – Vin.Candelora@housegop.ct.gov
Caruso, Christopher L. Ranking Member – Bridgeport – Chris.Caruso@cga.ct.gov
Davis, Paul – Milford, West Haven, Orange – Paul.Davis@cga.ct.gov
Debicella, Dan – Monroe, Seymour, Shelton, Stratford – Dan.Debicella@cga.ct.gov
Doyle, Paul – Cromwell, Newington, Rocky Hill, Middletown, Wethersfield – Doyle@senatedems.ct.gov
Hamzy, William A. – Bristol, Plymouth – William.Hamzy@housegop.ct.gov
Harris, Jonathan – Bloomfield, West Hartford, Burlington, Farmington – Harris@senatedems.ct.gov
Hartley, Joan V. Co-Chair – Waterbury, Naugatuck, Prospect – Hartley@senatedems.ct.gov
Leone, Carlo – Stamford – Carlo.Leone@cga.ct.gov
O’Neill, Arthur J. – Bridgewater, Roxbury, Southbury, Washington – Arthur.ONeill@housegop.ct.gov
Roraback, Andrew W. Ranking Member – Brookfield, Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Milford, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Washington, Winchester – Andrew.Roraback@cga.ct.gov
Rowe, T.R. – Co-Chair – Trumbull – TR.Rowe@housegop.ct.gov

TOWNS REPRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF THE REGULATION REVIEW COMMITTEE

Bloomfield – Harris
Bridgeport – Caruso
Bridgewater – O’Neill,
Bristol – Hamzy
Brookfield – Roraback
Burlington – Harris
Canaan – Roraback
Cheshire – Caliguiri
Cornwall – Roraback
Cromwell – Doyle
East Haven – Candelora
Farmington – Harris
Goshen – Roraback
Kent – Roraback
Litchfield – Roraback
Milford – Davis
Middletown – Doyle
Monroe – Debicella
Morris – Roraback
Naugatuck – Hartley
New Haven – Candelaria
New Milford – Roraback
North Branford – Candelora
North Canaan – Roraback
Orange – Davis
Plymouth – Hamzy
Prospect – Hartley
Rocky Hill – Doyle
Roxbury – O’Neill, Roraback
Salisbury – Roraback
Seymour – Debicella
Shelton – Debicella
Sharon – Roraback
Southbury – O’Neill
Southington – Caliguiri
Stamford – Leone
Stratford – Debicella
Torrington – Roraback
Trumbull – Rowe
Waterbury – Caliguiri, Hartley
Warren – Roraback
Wallingford – Candelora
Washington – Roraback, O’Neill
West Hartford – Harris
West Haven – Davis
Wethersfield – Doyle
Winchester – Roraback
Wolcott – Caliguiri