Protecting Hartford’s Drinking Water: City Council Passes Resolution Supporting EPA Rule

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

HARTFORD - Tuesday night, the Hartford City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and US Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to clarify protection of streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Clean Water Action applauds the Council and thanks Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings for introducing the resolution and for her continued leadership on environmental issues.

“We need more leaders like Councilwoman Jennings and her fellow city council members,” said Susan Eastwood, Water Campaign Coordinator for Clean Water Action, “EPA’s proposed standards do exactly what we need to do – put drinking water first. It's great to see elected officials who are willing to stand with their constituents instead of the deep pocketed polluters, and support common sense policies to protect our water.”

When finalized, this rule will better protect the more than 59% of the streams that feed into Connecticut’s drinking water sources.

“Protecting the health of our streams and wetlands is critical to protecting the drinking water for more than two million Connecticut residents,” said Louis Burch, Government Relations Liaison for Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “After more than a decade of our streams and wetlands being put at risk to pollution and destruction, it’s time for our leaders in Washington to take decisive action in restoring Clean Water Act protections to all waters of the United States.  CCE applauds the Hartford City Council for advancing this commonsense resolution, and is calling on other towns and cities to follow suit.”

EPA’s proposed protections for streams and wetlands are vital to the health of Hartford’s drinking water. 100% of residents get at least some of their water from the 844 miles of streams and other surface waters supplying Hartford that will be protected when EPA’s proposal is finalized.

Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings, who championed this effort, stated “We all need clean water to live and to thrive. It is the basis of our economy and our leisure, as well. I am proud to be a part of a governing body that clearly cares about the health of its citizens and can look beyond our borders to the welfare of all."

Sharon Lewis, Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice spoke about the disproportionate impact of water pollution on urban populations that depend on public drinking water, “Addressing this issue is long overdue and it is our hope that this new rule will shape water policy that is equitable for everyone.”

Margaret Miner of Rivers Alliance added, “Yesterday in New Haven EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy spoke specifically of the importance of upland headwaters and wetlands, and clear, protective law, to the future of the Sound and in fact the entire state.  It is wonderful that the Hartford City Council gets this.  With clear law, clear water will be flowing into Hartford. “

"What is more important than the air we breathe and the water we drink?" said Bob Wendelgass, Clean Water Action’s President and CEO “Clean water attracts and sustains families and businesses, creates healthy communities and fosters a high quality of life. The safety of our drinking water should not depend on what city or state we live in."

Susan Eastwood
1 860-428-5304