Friday, May 26, 2017

Connecticut considering revisions to water withdrawal rules

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it is considering revising regulations governing large withdrawals of groundwater and water from the state's waterways.

“Water is one of Connecticut’s greatest natural resources and we need to manage it wisely to ensure plentiful water to meet human needs as well as those of a healthy environment – now and for future generations,” Robert Klee, the department's commissioner, said. “Our efforts to manage water in a sound manner, however, are hindered by a gap in our oversight that allows someone to legally take enough water from the ground or a water body to dry up a river or stream and damage our natural resources.”

The revisions would build upon rules established in the Water Diversion Policy Act of 1982, which required permits for new withdrawals larger than 50,000 gallons per day but allowed companies that registered their water uses by July 1, 1983, to continue those uses without further evaluation or permitting.

“This modification to our regulations respects the rights of everyone who holds a registration to withdraw water and does not impact existing uses of water from these sources,” said Commissioner Klee.  “Under our proposed change, expanded use of water from a source that is a registered diversion, however, would require a permit application and an environmental review.”

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