THOMAS F. HARRISON, Chairman
Karl J. Wagener, Executive Director
Established - 1971
Statutory authority – CGS Sec. 22a-11
Central office - 79 Elm Street,
Hartford, CT 06106
Number of employees – Two
Recurring operating expenses – $170,212
Organizational structure – Nine-member appointed council
The Council on Environmental Quality's three main 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. It also has specific responsibilities under the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act, or CEPA (Conn. Gen. Statutes Sec. 22a-1 through 22a-1h). 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.
The Council submitted its annual report on the condition of Connecticut’s environment to Governor M. Jodi Rell in June 2008. 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 straightforward environmental indicators that clearly chart the state’s progress. The report also assessed the overall effect of these environmental trends, and highlighted the natural resources that require more attention from state government. The report was distributed to state legislators and agency heads, municipalities, libraries, colleges and universities, and many other organizations.
All reports are published on the Council's portal website. Last year, the Council designed and published a new version of the annual report for easy reading and reference on the website. This new web version of the annual report was received favorably and the emphasis on shifting readership from paper copies to the web version continued in 2008. By encouraging more people to read the report online, the Council has been able to reduce the number of printed copies by 75 percent and thereby conserve money and resources. Citizens can receive e-mail notices of all new publications, as well as public meetings, by signing up for free e-alerts through the website.
The Council published a special report in March 2008 that analyzes the financial commitment that will be required for Connecticut to achieve its core environmental goals.
Since October 2002, the Council has published the Environmental Monitor, an online publication that replaced the Connecticut Law Journal as the official publication for CEPA notices. All state agencies post their required environmental notices on the Monitor website. The Monitor is distributed to all municipal clerks as well as any citizen who subscribes to e-alerts through the website. This electronic publication saves considerable sums, by eliminating printing and mailing costs. In October 2007, the Council expanded the Monitor to include postings of proposed transfers of state property, as required by Public Act 07-213.
The public is welcome to attend the Council’s monthly meetings, and citizens are encouraged to report complaints or concerns about Connecticut’s environment at any time. Individual citizens, municipalities, and organizations brought numerous problems to the Council’s attention this year, and the Council investigated and helped to resolve cases involving enforcement of inland wetlands laws, construction of telecommunications towers in scenic areas, alternative wastewater treatment systems, proposed composting facilities, and many others.
The Council is required to submit an annual report to the Governor on the status of Connecticut's environment. All annual and special reports are available on the Council’s website (www.ct.gov/ceq).