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Connecticut to Target Sewer Pollution With $580M for 18 Municipal Upgrades

Wed August 03, 2022 - Northeast Edition
CT Insider

Part of Greater New Haven’s Water Pollution Control Authority plant. (Photo courtesy of CT Insider)
Part of Greater New Haven’s Water Pollution Control Authority plant. (Photo courtesy of CT Insider)

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Aug. 2 that clean-water grants totaling $580 million have been authorized to upgrade sewer systems and waste-water treatment facilities throughout the state.

The money will be for construction-ready municipal water pollution control projects designed to guard against sewage pollution and help improve water quality.

Funding for the 18 prioritized projects will be spread out over two years, according to CT Insider, an online network made up of several local news sources.

Federal infrastructure financing, worth $73 million, will go to New Haven and Hartford-area communities serviced by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), as well as projects in Norwich, Ridgefield, Litchfield, West Haven and Plainfield.

"The projects on this list will help our cities and towns to properly manage and treat their wastewater, and in turn help make our waterways cleaner," Lamont said in a statement. "These projects will also mobilize many good-paying jobs and strengthen supply chains as construction gets under way."

The governor's news release included comments from Katie Dykes, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

"Properly managing our wastewater and ensuring we have sufficient infrastructure to do so is an essential part of being good stewards of our environment," she added.

Dykes and Lamont each praised the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law approved by Congress and signed into law by President Biden late last year. The legislation helped infuse money into Connecticut's grants' program.

Various Cities in MDC Granted a Total of $279M

Among the cities and projects slated to get the pollution-control monies include:

  • New Haven's Water Pollution Control Facility, where $10 million in new funds will complete a project to remove nitrogen from wastewater.
  • Another $75 million will go toward addressing issues in the city's storm and sanitary sewer lines in its Orchard Street, Yale, and Trumbull Street neighborhoods as well as at the East Street pump station.
  • The West Haven sewage plant will use its $38 million to replace an outfall line.
  • The Litchfield plant is set to receive $7 million for facility upgrades.
  • In Ridgefield, $10 million has been allocated to close a small sewage treatment plant, DEEP officials said.

The largest single award granted by the state will be $156 million for an upgrade of Norwich's Water Pollution Control Facility, although in aggregate, the MDC will receive more funding: a total of $279 million for projects in Hartford, East Hartford and Rocky Hill.

Other Towns Also Need Waste-Water Upgrades

State Rep. Joe Gresko, D-Stratford, co-chairman of the legislative Environment Committee, told CT Insider Aug. 2 that he hopes the communities of Stratford and Bridgeport can soon get in line for funding.

He noted that Bridgeport's West End facility, where stormwater from combined sanitary and storm sewage overflows into Black Rock Harbor and nearby Ash Creek, is responsible for nearby beach closures.

CT Insider reported that the Bridgeport plant is currently in the design phase for upgrades and will likely become eligible for funding during the 2024-2025 cycle.

"When they did the upgrade to the Stratford plant in the early 2000s, there was never an emergency relief valve installed," Gresko said about that town's treatment facility, located at the base of Birdseye Street on the Housatonic River.

According to DEEP, Connecticut cities and towns may submit applications for reserve funds through the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year.

The MDC is a non-profit municipal corporation chartered by the Connecticut General Assembly to provide potable water and sewerage services on a regional basis.

Additionally, it provides quality water supply, water pollution control, mapping, and household hazardous waste collection to eight member municipalities: Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor. The MDC also supplies drinking water to portions of non-member towns: Farmington, Glastonbury, East Granby and South Windsor.

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