Thanks to Sen. Beth Bye, Rep. Derek Slap, and the many members of Save Our Water CT who stood up for their public trust waters, HB 6008: AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN INDEPENDENT CONSUMER ADVOCATE FOR THE MDC has now unanimously passed the CT General Assembly.
The advocate will be appointed by the Office of Consumer Counsel, be independent of the MDC board, and be financed by the MDC. It’s a good first step in helping residents of MDC-served towns advocate for protection of their water and for wise decisions about its sale and use.
Hopefully, decisions such as the one to offer Niagara Bottling of CA water and clean water project charge rates lower than residential rates, will come to public attention BEFORE they become policy. Even though these discounts have been rescinded, watchful eyes will be needed to insure they don’t reappear.
Save Our Water CT is also hard at work behind the scenes at the legislature. Its a frustrating session, complete with budget deadlocks and the political reality of a tied senate. BUT negotiations are ongoing with our legislative champions, the MDC, water utilities, and our environmental allies to createoversight of the large water-bottling industry in CT:
- require a renewable permit system for large water-bottlers so we know we have enough water for present and future needs
- prohibit discounts on water or clean water project charge for large water bottlers; residents should not pay more for their Class A water
- protect our watersheds during drought; when residents conserve, ask large water bottlers to cut back too
We know many of you are engaged in the national struggle to maintain our environmental standards. We’ll let you know when your voices are urgently needed here to help move our legislative agenda forward. For those of you who can lobby with us these next few crucial weeks, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. With the loss of federal water protections, it’s ever more important we stand up locally to preserve our most important natural resource.