Senator Fasano Statement on Shoreline Legislation

May 5, 2012

Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement today re: SB 376 AN ACT CONCERNING THE COASTAL MANAGEMENT ACT AND SHORELINE FLOOD AND EROSION CONTROL STRUCTURES.

“I’m proud that my proposal passed the Senate with bipartisan support and will result in immediate relief for the people living along the shoreline. Families in my district were devastated by Tropical Storm Irene, a rare powerful storm that hasn’t been seen in more than 70 years.

“Some have been able to rebuild, but others don’t have the resources. A few families have had to remove the debris and put their property up for sale. But it is their right to sell the property or to rebuild – protecting that land for the future.

“A lot of these homes have been passed down from generation to generation. I’ve lived down on the shoreline literally all my life and when residents started to contact me after the storm I knew exactly what they were going through.

“I have testified before several committees at the Capitol to make sure the voices of our residents on the shoreline were being heard. And many of the families and business owners who live in East Haven on Cosey Beach traveled to Hartford to stand with me.

“With bipartisan effort and months of meetings on the language in this bill, I am confident shoreline residents now have some direction for the future. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy and Save The Sound have all been crucial in crafting this very important legislation.

“We all have common goals in mind which include following a path of responsible protection of the environment, while maintaining the property rights of residents.

“I want to make sure we help residents move forward in a way that protects their ownership rights as private property owners. This bill does that.

SB 376 will do the following:

  • Protects rights of private property owners.
  • Helps define type of development/reconstruction you can perform along Shoreline to reduce DEEP discretion.
  • DEEP can no longer reject application; it must identify flaws in the application and give suggested corrective measures.
  • Allows for the option of the construction of living shorelines which can protect, restore or enhance the, beaches, dunes or intertidal flats in order to protect the shoreline.
  • Allows the DEEP to work with communities to established pilot program that will protect/prevent shoreline from erosion.
  • The Town of East Haven would qualify and be a strong candidate for DEEP pilot program to encourage low impact ways of protecting the shoreline.
  • This bill delivers a strong message to the DEEP staff that will no longer be able to demonstrate total disregard to our citizens as well as our state laws and institute their own policies when it comes to reviewing DEEP applications.

“The bill passed the Senate 35 to 0 on the consent calendar. It now awaits approval from the House.

“I know Representative James Albis (D-East Haven) is in favor of this bill. I will work with him and other representatives in the House to pass this legislation before the end of Session May 9th. In the hopes the Governor will sign it before Memorial Day, the official start of the summer season so many on the shoreline cherish.”