DONAL C. O’BRIEN, Jr., Chairman
Karl J. Wagener, Executive Director
Established - 1971
Statutory authority - CGS 22a-11
Central office - 79 Elm Street,
Hartford, CT 06106
Number of employees - One
Organizational structure – Nine-member volunteer council
The Council on Environmental Quality's three primary functions are to prepare and submit to the Governor an annual report on the status of Connecticut's environment; to review construction projects of state agencies; and to receive and investigate citizen complaints. The Council is within the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for administrative purposes only. Members of the nine-person Council are appointed by the Governor (5), Speaker of the House (2) and President Pro Tempore of the Senate (2) Members serve without compensation.
To help the public make sense of the potentially confusing and conflicting technical data on environmental trends, the Council continued to use its format of 29 simple environmental indicators that clearly chart the state’s progress. The 2002 calendar year report also documented Connecticut's progress in the conservation of open space, the ecological threat of non-native invasive plants to Connecticut's natural habitats, and the 2002 amendments to the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA). The Council again made a deliberate effort to make its report short, attractive, and easy to understand. In addition to its annual report, the Council publishes interim reports that investigate current environmental topics of statewide concern. All reports are published on the Council's new portal website, which meets state accessibility standards. The website also enables the Council to post meeting notices, agenda and similar information that previously had to be mailed to citizens. Citizens can receive e-mail notices of public meetings by signing up for free e-alerts through the website.
In October 2002, the Council launched the Environmental Monitor, an online publication required by the 2002 CEPA amendments that replaces the Connecticut Law Journal as the official publication for CEPA notices. All other state agencies post their required environmental notices on the Monitor website. The Monitor is free to any citizen who subscribes to e-alerts through the website. This electronic publication saves considerable sums, by eliminating printing and mailing costs and even the staff time that would be needed to manage a mailing list of a traditional print periodical. The Monitor is distributed by law to all municipal clerks.
The Council is required to submit an annual report to the Governor on the status of Connecticut's environment.