Environmental Planner Christine O’Neill represented NVCOG at the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Education Fund’s 2023 Environmental Summit on Jan. 24 at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford. The event brings together citizen advocates, environmental leaders, lawmakers, and policy experts to discuss and learn more about the issues facing the state’s environment each year.

O’Neill said the powerful event included inspiring conversations about forests, wildlife, climate change and waste.  The summit was great preparation for this year’s session of the Connecticut General Assembly, which started on Jan. 4. With many exciting environmental bills anticipated this year like a ban on harmful rodenticides, strengthening existing mandates and an extended producer responsibility law that would cover packaging materials, environmental advocates will have their hands full in the best way possible, O’Neill said.

The summit included remarks from Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Commissioner Katie Dykes of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Panel discussions were about forests and habitats, protecting wildlife, and climate and energy issues. The final panel discussion was about solutions to Connecticut’s waste crisis. NVCOG is already helping member communities implement a Trash Reduction Pilot Program that could help point the way to solving the problem. Ansonia started its pilot in December while Seymour and Woodbury will do so in February.