McKinney, Lyddy Continue Efforts to Protect Hawleyville Aquifer in Wake of Vetoed Legislation

June 10, 2010

State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) and State Representative Christopher Lyddy (D-Newtown) today voiced disappointment over Governor Rell’s veto of legislation aimed at protecting wetlands and aquifers from pollution due to the unnecessary expansion of solid waste management facilities. The bill was introduced in response to the planned expansion of the Housatonic Railroad Company’s solid waste transfer terminal which sits atop the Hawleyville aquifer in Newtown.

“I am disappointed by the veto, but I am still committed to working with First Selectwoman Pat Llodra, Newtown officials and the Hawleyville neighborhood to protect the town and the environment from this hazardous proposal at the train station,” said Senator McKinney, who also noted the likelihood of increased truck traffic, noise and airborne debris that would result from the Hawleyville proposal moving forward. “I have spoken with Governor Rell about these issues and expressed my disagreement with her veto. At my request, she has assured me that the Department of Environmental Protection will monitor the Hawleyville situation closely and ensure that all of our state’s laws and regulations are followed to a tee.”

Representative Lyddy also voiced his displeasure with the veto, saying, “Although I am disappointed in the Governor’s decision, I hope this legislation and the Governor’s veto will shine a light on the fact that we, as a state, must continue to address environmental and public health concerns of our citizens. We must also partner with the business community to ensure that their practices are reflective of the environmental and public health standards that we as a state have set and continue to expand.”
“This veto shouldn’t be taken as a free pass by any company looking to expand their solid waste facilities. The fact that this legislation could impact up to 19 different sites is startling and raises serious questions about our state’s permitting processes and our environmental standing,” said Lyddy. “I trust the Governor will act in the best interest of the Newtown community as she continues to examine this issue.”

Representative Lyddy joined Senator McKinney in introducing legislation in the spring that would have protected Hawleyville by preventing the expansion of solid waste facilities within 1,000 feet of a primary or secondary aquifer until, and unless, there exists a need for such additional capacity, as determined by the state’s Solid Waste Management Plan.