Below is a list of cases that CFE/Save the Sound previously worked on.
CLEAN WATER PROTECTION
CFE/Save the Sound Helps to Stop Broadwater's Industrialization of Long Island Sound: CFE/Save the Sound achieved a major victory when New York State rejected Broadwater's application in 2008 to build a floating industrial liquid natural gas complex in the middle of Long Island Sound.
CFE brought challenges before several New York State agencies and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to block the complex. The proposed structure would have been 10 stories high, four football fields long, and its no-go security zones would have closed off substantial portions of the Sound to the public.
CFE/Save the Sound successfully argued that there are energy alternatives (such as conservation and existing natural gas supplies) and siting alternatives outside of the Sound that are less destructive. CFE/Save the Sound also filed a challenge to FERC's approval of the federal permits in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
CFE/Save the Sound's work ended last year when Broadwater withdrew their application to build the complex from FERC.
CFE Gets Stronger Limits on Toxics and Public Participation Requirements Incorporated into Industrial Stormwater General Permit: In 2010, CFE legally challenged a draft stormwater permit issued by DEEP. After negotiations, DEEP staff agreed to substantially strengthen the requirements that apply to all industrial stormwater dischargers to include stronger limits on toxics and appropriate opportunities for public participation and review of site specific stormwater plans.
After the permit was strengthened, CFE worked with DEEP to successfully defend the new provisions after the industry challenged it.
Read the Notice of Intervention
CFE Clean Water Act Notices Result in Over $3 Million in Penalties and Environmental Projects: In 2007, CFE filed Notices of Intent to Sue under the Clean Water Act against five companies in the state who were chronically violating their discharge permits. One of the violators had discharged acid into the Branford River, resulting in the death of hundreds of crabs. The notices resulted in more than $3 million in penalties and projects to protect the environment.
In 2009, four of the cases were settled; the fifth was settled only after CFE along with then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the DEP brought a lawsuit in Connecticut Superior Court.
Attorney General Blumenthal called the actions “the most important combined [enforcement] result in recent years, perhaps decades.”
The settlements were with Electric Boat (New London), Whyco Finishing (Naugatuck), Allegheny Ludlum (Wallingford), and Cytec (Wallingford). The lawsuit was brought against Atlantic Wire (Branford).
Read the Hartford Courant Editorial
CFE Helps to Clean Up the Naugatuck River: In 2008, CFE intervened in the permit proceedings of three industrial dischargers (Whyco Finishing, Summit Corporation, and Quality Rolling and Deburring) who were continuing to discharge highly toxic effluent into the upper Naugatuck River.
As a result of CFE's intervention, the companies and DEP agreed to substantially strengthen their permits to incorporate discharge limits that will improve the water quality of the river.
HEALTHY FOREST AND DRINKING WATER PROTECTION
CFE Intervenes in Electric Utility Merger to Protect Open Space Parcels: CFE intervened before the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in its review of a proposed merger between Northeast Utilities and Massachusetts based NSTAR, seeking to protect 9,500 acres of valuable open space owned by Northeast Utilities. The merger, as proposed, would ultimately put executives from NSTAR in charge. This raised significant concern for CFE and the fate of the thousands of acres of open space owned by Northeast Utilities.
Through its intervention, CFE sought to extend an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the state and Northeast Utilities with regard to the 9,500 acres of open space, which was slated to expire in 2014. The existing MOU was in place as a result of CFE's successful intervention in 2000 in which Northeast Utilities was proposing a merger with Consolidated Edison. The MOU established two valuable processes–the evaluation of Northeast Utilities open space land holdings for inclusion on a “Conservation List” and a first in time opportunity for the state, municipalities or local land trusts to purchase properties on the Conservation List should Northeast Utilities decide to sell any of the listed properties.
Ultimately, the parties entered into a settlement agreement that was approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. As a result of CFE's intervention, the settlement agreement contained several provisions that CFE advocated for, including a ten year extension of the MOU. In addition, NU agreed to donate four parcels of land totaling approximately 1,000 acres to the state for permanent conservation.
Read the petition
CFE and Northwest Connecticut Coalition Stop a Plan to Turn Pristine Yale Farm Property into a Luxury Golf Course: In 2009, CFE joined the fight and challenged DEP's tentative decision to grant a permit for a harmful and illegal diversion of water from the 324-acre Yale Farm property in order to turn it into a luxury golf course.
The Yale Farm property is considered some of the most valuable in the state. Both nearby Hollow Brook and Ginger Creek are Class A coldwater streams that contain vigorous populations of wild brook trout and other coldwater species. These coldwater streams are the headwaters to the Blackberry River, whose waters and tributaries form an important part of the Housatonic Watershed.
Shortly after CFE intervened, the developer withdrew its application, citing the economic collapse.
CFE Restores Low-Flow Streams in Northwest Connecticut: CFE intervened in a case to restore low-flow streams in the Torrington Water Company water basin. CFE argued that the company should not be allowed to increase its out-of-basin water sales until it addressed the problem of low-flow streams within the basin.
DEP and the water company agreed that the company (1) will not increase the amount of water it was diverting and selling outside of the water basin and (2) will monitor stream flow and fund a study to determine how to restore the impaired streams within the water basin to a healthy flow.
In another stream flow case, CFE challenged a general permit streamlining measure by DEP that would have allowed certain water diversions to take place without any required review or oversight by DEP. The agency ultimately agreed to review and approve applications before withdrawals can take place.
CLEAN AIR AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
CFE Compels Reductions from Old Oil Burning Power Plant to Clean Air in New Haven Neighborhood: In 2010, PSE&G sought to site new turbines in the New Haven Harbor on a site that houses an old, dirty, oil burning power plant, an oil terminal, and diesel spewing ships and machinery.
CFE worked with local groups to successfully oppose the siting of the plant, which would have been on a site with some of the unhealthiest air in the nation. After negotiations with the company and DEEP, CFE reached an agreement where the company would reduce emissions from its old oil burning plant to offset any new emissions. It was also agreed that PSE&G would dedicate $500,000 to cleaning the air in the neighborhood.
Read the Connecticut Law Tribune article
CFE Stops Dirty Diesel Pollution: CFE intervened as a full legal party in DEP proceedings in a proposed general permit that would have allowed dirty diesel emergency generators to operate without appropriate controls to protect health in 2008.
CFE argued that the issuance of the permit would lead to measurably increased instances of asthma attacks, heart attacks, and premature deaths, particularly among sensitive populations.
As a result, DEP agreed to require controls that would reduce emissions from the generators by more than 85 percent and will mitigate the health impacts described above.
CFE Settlement Helps Reduce of Unhealthy Dirty Diesel Fuel by Hospital and Power Plant: As a result of a settlement with CFE in 2007, the Hospital of Saint Raphael is being required to burn natural gas instead of dirty fuel oil from at least April through August each year, reducing emissions of diesel soot and other pollutants by more than 15 tons a year.
Additionally, another power plant in Wallingford agreed with CFE to modify their permit to require them to burn cleaner natural gas and only use the dirtier fuel oil in an emergency, such as the unavailability of natural gas.