Department of Environmental Protection
At a Glance
ARTHUR J. ROCQUE, JR., Commissioner
Jane K. Stahl, Deputy Commissioner of Air, Waste and Water
David K. Leff, Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Conservation
Established – 1971
Statutory authority – CGS Public Act 872, 1971
Central office – 79 Elm Street,
Hartford, CT 06106-5127
Average number of full-time employees – 889
Recurring operating expenses - $129,075,518
Organizational structure – Office of the Commissioner: Offices of Affirmative Action;
Communications and Education; Environmental Equity; Environmental Review; Long Island Sound Programs; Permit Ombudsman; Program and Policy. Bureau of Financial Support Services: Divisions of Agency Support Services; Financial Management and Information Technology; Human Resources.
Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Air, Waste and Water – Office of Legal Counsel; Adjudications; Enforcement Program, Policy and Practices; Environmental Data and Geographic Exchange. Bureau of Air Management: Division of Compliance and Standards; Engineering and Technical Services; Planning and Standards; Radiation. Bureau of Waste Management: State Emergency Response Commission; Divisions of Engineering and Enforcement; Oil and Chemical Spill Response; Pesticide, PCB and Underground Storage Tank; Planning and Standards. Bureau of Water Management: Divisions of Inland Water Resources; Permitting, Enforcement and Remediation; Planning and Standards.
Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Conservation – Office of Environmental and Geographic Information Center; Indian Affairs; Resource Management. Bureau of Natural Resources: Planning, Coordination and Fiscal Management; Divisions of Forestry; Inland Fisheries; Marine Fisheries; Wildlife. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation: Planning, Coordination and Fiscal Management; Divisions of Boating; Land Acquisition and Management; Law Enforcement; State Parks.
It is the mission of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to conserve, improve and protect the natural resources and environment of the State of Connecticut; to control air, land and water pollution in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of Connecticut; and to preserve and enhance the quality of life for present and future generations.
· Long Island Sound Restoration – DEP’s strategic planning and implementation approach to the restoration of Long Island Sound (LIS) is a model for DEP’s watershed management efforts. Efforts to restore critical natural resource habitat has complimented the water quality improvements of LIS. Tidal wetland restoration efforts resulted in 149.9 acres restored during the past two years. Over the last 30 years 1,600 acres of tidal wetlands have been restored. During 2000 and 2001, 12.25 miles of riverine corridor were restored for anadromous fish through dam removal or installation of fish passageways. In 2001 the number of osprey nests increase to 176 active nests with 286-osprey fledglings compared to nine active nests across the state in 1974.
· Nitrogen General Permit and the Nitrogen Credit Exchange – With the April 2001, approval of the Long Island Sound (LIS) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) analysis for nitrogen, Connecticut is required to reduce total nitrogen loading from 79 municipal sewage treatment plants (STP) from baseline by about 64 percent by 2014. State legislation passed in 2001 established a basis for a general permit (GP) and a Nitrogen Credit Exchange (NCE) overseen by a Nitrogen Credit Advisory Board (NCAB). The GP establishes annual end-of-pipe nitrogen limits in pounds per day for each of 79 STPs for 2002 through 2006, and specifies monitoring requirements necessary to account for each STPs nitrogen contribution. The NCE is an innovative approach to meet the TMDL requirements as it takes advantage of natural attenuation processes and market forces to determine the relative impact of nitrogen on LIS from each facility. These factors create an economic incentive for STPs with higher nitrogen impact ratios to aggressively remove nitrogen below the limits specified in the GP and TMDL, generating credits to be sold through the NCE. More distant facilities, whose nitrogen has less impact, would purchase those nitrogen credits at a discount as an alternative to treatment. As a result, statewide capital cost savings for upgrades to meet the 2014 goal may be as high as $400 million. While the first year’s trades will not occur until 2003 and be based on 2002 operations, positive results are already being realized. Aggregate nitrogen reductions from the 79 STPs in the GP appear to be meeting planned targets established for 2007. This trading program is the first of its type in the country.
· Clean Marina Program - Using Clean Water Act Section 319 funds, DEP's Office of Long Island Sound Programs and Boating Division developed a Clean Marina Program. Through this program, DEP provides marina operators with the tools they need to improve their environmental performance, and publicly recognizes those facilities that go above and beyond regulatory compliance. Part of the Program's success is attributed to the innovative approach of involving the recreational boating industry in all aspects of program development and implementation.
· Electronic Coastal Permitting Project - DEP’s Office of Long Island Sound Programs (OLISP), in cooperation with DEP’s Environmental Data and Geographic Exchange, has developed a system to allow staff to query and retrieve coastal permitting documents at their desks. The system utilizes a combination of MS Access databases and FileNet software and has been rolled out to all OLISP staff. Staff can now retrieve the documents at their fingertips in a matter of seconds, where the search would have previously taken from minutes to hours, depending on whether or not the document was filed properly or being used by other staff. The program allows staff to perform side-by-side comparisons of documents as well as provides a zooming capability which allows detailed viewing and analysis of scanned plans. The network now houses over 8,000 permits issued for coastal structures, dredging and fill since 1939 and will improve staff efficiency and effectiveness in processing permit applications and resolving compliance cases.
· Lobster Research and Aid Programs – Implemented new programs with federal disaster funds to: 1) provide economic assistance to Connecticut lobster fishermen affected by a large die-off of lobsters in Long Island Sound, 2) restore the lobster population and, 3) monitor and assess the lobster population and fishery to determine the population status, and impact of the die-off on the stock and fishery. A lobster trap allocation buy back program was implemented in cooperation with the Department of Economic and Community Development with $1 million in federal funds to provide an additional source of economic assistance to fishermen that will also reduce fishing effort on LIS lobsters. The Department also utilized $1.3 million in federal funds to expand lobster sampling stations in LIS, increase sampling on commercial lobster boats, implement a three-year lobster tagging program, and in cooperation with UConn and the University of New Haven, implemented a genetics study of LIS lobsters and a graphical information system to map and relate lobster abundance and life cycle to habitat types in LIS.
· Wetlands Habitat Restoration – Completed a restoration of 300 acres of degraded wetlands on Great Island at the mouth of the Connecticut River. Open water was restored by plugging mosquito ditches and removing the invasive reed Phragmites. This project was accomplished using a $218,000 grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service's North American Wetlands Conservation Act Program and matching funds from the Connecticut Duck Stamp, Ducks Unlimited, Valley Shore Waterfowlers, The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut Waterfowl Association, and the USFWS McKinney Refuge.
· Statewide Trout and Bass Management Plans – Fully implemented new statewide Trout and Bass Management Plans designed to improve trout fishing opportunities on 63 rivers and streams and bass fishing opportunities on 24 lakes.
· New Fisheries Publication - Published A Fisheries Guide to Lakes and Ponds of Connecticut. This 354-page book includes 144 new bathymetric maps, color photos and all new text providing up-to-date information on fish populations, public access and lake ecology. This book will prove to be an invaluable source of information for Connecticut anglers, boaters and naturalists.
Environmental Conditions Online – As a part of the DEP’s Environmental Data
and Geographic Exchange (EDGE) project, a Web-based GIS tool was developed and
implemented in the agency this past year.
Entitled Environmental Conditions Online (ECO), this tool provides
direct access to geography-based, natural resource and environmental
information to department staff through their Web browser on their desktop
computers. ECO provides the foundation
for sharing access to information maintained by DEP and other state and federal
agencies. GIS information includes
surface and ground water quality classifications, water supply wells,
reservoirs, sewer areas, industrial discharges, air stacks, landfills,
· Connecticut Campground Reservation Service – As part of a continuing effort to upgrade the state park system Connecticut Campground Reservation Service made its debut last summer. Campers wishing to make reservations can do so toll free (1-877-668-CAMP) or reserve sites online at www.reservamerica.com and “click” on camping. The number of campers using State campgrounds has doubled since the reservation system began last summer. More than 50,000 reservations were made for the 2000 and 2001 camping seasons compared to a previous average of 13,000/season.
· Environmental Compliance – Connecticut continued to strive for compliance with strict environmental quality standards through permitting, compliance assistance, outreach and traditional enforcement. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002 DEP issued over 2,600 permits and other authorizations. In addition, consistent with its strategic objective of providing permit assistance appropriate to the needs of all stakeholders, DEP has greatly increased the information available on the DEP website, providing information to more than 8,500 customers a month, double the number for the previous fiscal year. For State fiscal year 2002, DEP conducted 6,764 inspections and issued 956 notices of violation, 28 unilateral orders, 216 consent orders including $928,565 in civil penalties and $1,569,365 in supplemental environmental projects and made 31 case referrals to the Attorney General's Office.