To The Editor:
New Britain officials have again misinterpreted Public Act 6-61 which requires an environmental study on the potential impact on a change in use of protected watershed to allow Tilcon to strip mine it.
Both the Southington Board of Water Commissioners and its Water Department have vigorously opposed Mayor Stewart’s and Tilcon’s proposal, stating the existing quarry has already impacted the town’s water supply and expansion “will have further irreversible consequences on the Southington Water Department’s supply, the flows in the Quinnipiac River and the watershed”.
New Britain officials, indifferent to Southington’s concerns replied that the scope of the study (done by Lenard) as outlined in State law and agreed upon by two State agencies (Water Planning Council and the Council on Environmental Quality), was very specific and focused on New Britain watershed property. That’s not true.
Public Act 16-61 states, as spelled out in Southington’s letter to the WPC, that they are to look at the impacts on such change in use on local hydrology and the long term water supply needs of not only the City of New Britain, but on other interconnected, and reasonably feasible interconnected water companies in the general geographic region surrounding the areas supplied by the City of New Britain’s water reservoir system. That region includes Southington.
At the June 12, 2017 CEQ meeting the study consultants, in response to concerns how the surrounding area (off site environmental consequences) would be affected stated “the report will consider ‘landscape scale’ (which is about 1,000 acres) and indirect impacts”. That includes the significant impacts to Southington’s water systems.
The WPC at its July 8, 2018 meeting rebuffed the city’s (and Lenard’s) attempt, after admitting the study (at a cost of $354,000) was incomplete, to submit more information pointedly asking “Why wasn’t it included (in the study)?” It appears Southington has asked and answered that same question.
Paul E. Zagorsky