Environmental Council To Rell: Water Clean-Up Too Slow

Tylerville residents have lived with polluted water for almost 30 years

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Faucet in Tylerville.
Photo:Nancy Eve Cohen
Environmental Council To Rell: Water Clean-Up Too Slow
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Environmental Council To Rell: Water Clean-Up Too Slow

The Council on Environmental Quality is sending letters to Governor Rell and the Environmental and Public Health Commissioners about the long-standing pollution of ground water in a section of Haddam that feeds drinking water wells. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the Council suggests the state’s overall approach to cleaning up pollution might need to be changed dramatically.

The aquifer which feeds more than a dozen household wells in the Tylerville neighborhood of Haddam has been contaminated for nearly thirty years. The state has spent $100,000 in the past 15 years to provide the affected households with water filtrations systems and in bottled water. The state also supports water filtration systems in 137 other communities.  In its letter to the Governor, the Council on Environmental Quality says the state hasn’t proved the sources of the contamination yet in Tylerville. And in other places where contamination is widespread, the CEQ says enforcement of laws is unpredictable. Council Chair Barbara Wagner.

“This is a systemic problem, that it isn’t one minor failure. We don’t have the regulatory or statutory measures that allow us to solve a problem of this magnitude for a community.”

In its letter to the Governor, the C.E.Q. says one problem may be that responsibility for safe drinking water is spread out between more than one state agency.

The Council says it  intends to work with state agencies to make recommendations to solve the problems of contaminated communities.

For WNPR, I’m Nancy Cohen.