Household Hazardous Waste and Paint Collection Scheduled for Saturday, July 16 in Bethlehem

Do you have paints, cleaners, and other chemicals you need to dispose of? Let the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) and participating towns will sponsor a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and Paint Collection on Saturday, July 16. The collection will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to residents of the following towns: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Derby, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Oxford, Prospect, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury.

Staff unload hazardous waste items at the collection site in Ansonia in April 2022.

The event will be held at Bethlehem Elementary School, located at 92 East Street. There is no charge to residents. Proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, tax bill, or other identification, is required for entrance. There is no need to line up before the 8 a.m. start time.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, protocols in effect at the event include:

  • Residents disposing of materials must wear a mask and remain in their vehicle
  • Only one family member per vehicle
  • Collection materials for disposal must be placed in the rear compartment of vehicle, not passenger compartment
  • Containers will not be returned (No ‘pour offs’)

Household hazardous wastes are any wastes produced in the home that are poisonous, flammable, reactive, or corrosive. These wastes are harmful to human health and the environment if not disposed of properly. 

Examples of wastes that will be accepted include: oil- and latex-based paints and stains, thermometers and thermostats containing mercury, drain and oven cleaners, upholstery cleaners, wood cleaners, strippers and varnishes, pesticides, poisons, pool and photo chemicals, automotive cleaners and fluids (excluding motor oil), grease and rust solvents, aerosols, and metal polishes.        

Items that will not be accepted include:  auto batteries, motor oil, 20 lbs. propane tanks, compressed gas cylinders, asbestos, smoke detectors, explosives, radioactive or medical waste, grout, joint compound, lead paint chips, and empty containers of any kind. The contractor reserves the right to reject additional materials.

Up to 50 lbs. of residential waste will be accepted per vehicle. Residents should leave materials in the original container whenever possible. When arriving at the collection site, residents are asked to stay in their cars at all times. Trained waste handlers will remove materials from the cars.

Unacceptable materials will be returned or left in the vehicle and information, if known, will be provided on how to dispose of them. For further information, please contact hhw@nvcogct.gov or call (203) 757-0535.

Contact:

NVCOG
(203) 757-0535
https://nvcogct.gov/HHW

NVCOG Hosts Spring 2022 MAP Forum Meeting

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) hosted the 2022 Spring Meeting of the Metropolitan Area Planning (MAP) Forum on Friday, June 3. Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, Chair of the NVCOG and Central Naugatuck MPO, welcomed the attendees and speakers, emphasizing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as a focus of the meeting. Mayor O’Leary recognized the importance of the MAP Forum to maintain coordination of planning activities and interconnectedness between the multi-state regions.   

Fred Nangle, deputy director of Service Planning Projects Operations Planning & Analysis at MTA Metro-North Railroad, discussed the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ridership and rail service as well as how Metro-North service has adjusted to a post-pandemic market. Mark Abraham, Executive Director of DataHaven, presented COVID-19 and Community Wellbeing Survey results, highlighting data collected on experiences with discrimination, quality of the built environment, financial insecurity, and mental health. Looking towards the future, a presentation on the Route 8 & Waterbury Rail Lines Alternative Modes Assessment Study outlined recommended improvements to the Waterbury Rail Line, with goals to ensure a better-integrated transportation system and address connectivity between our regions. 

This presentation was followed by MAP Forum work program activity updates from the Multi-State Freight Working Group, Multi-State Resilience Working Group, and the MAP Forum Hub, an online portal for members to upload and exchange information and documents.  

The presentations made during the meeting can be viewed here and a recording of the meeting can be accessed from this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brI5UwGKPVw  

PRESS RELEASE: DeLauro, Blumenthal, Local Leaders, Environmental Advocates Urge Action on Kinneytown Dam in Seymour

Click here to access the press release from U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro

 

SEYMOUR, CT — House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal joined local leaders and environmental advocates in Seymour urging Hydroland to act on long-term issues of non-compliance at the Kinneytown Dam. Leaders urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to implement swift action to restore safe and effective fish passage along the Naugatuck River from Long Island Sound to Thomaston. The Kinneytown Dam is the one major roadblock to significant fish passage and Hydroland has failed to take the most basic steps to address this longstanding problem.

“For far too long, the Kinneytown Dam has been a major barrier to fish migration along the Naugatuck River from Thomaston to the Long Island Sound. Hydroland has made empty promises. They have taken no real action,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “I strongly urge Hydroland to reach out to the environmental advocates and the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments to discuss the transfer of ownership of the dam under terms that are fair to the towns and the environmental communities so they can begin the process of fully reopening the river. The Naugatuck River is home to fish, birds, and other wildlife – and is a cherished destination for anglers, paddlers, and sightseers. We must protect it.”

“Hydroland’s failures have environmental and economic impacts up and down the Naugatuck Valley,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. “Their repeated violations and refusal to enable the safe passage and migration of fish is unacceptable. FERC must do the right thing – take action now and revoke Hydroland’s license.”

“I want to thank our regional, state, and federal partners for their attendance today,” said Seymour First Selectwoman Annmarie Drugonis. “It’s vital that we create a united front to ensure we continue the work of restoring the Naugatuck River’s ecosystem. I call on the owners of Kinneytown Dam to do what’s required to resolve the issue.”

“Decades of public investment by the Connecticut taxpayers, our partner river towns and countless activists have been made to restore the Naugatuck River,” said Mayor O’Leary of Waterbury. “Hydroland’s continued damage to the Naugatuck River is nothing short of outrageous and neglectful. Fish are dying at the base of this dam, and it must stop.”

“Kinneytown has very real consequences for the environment, economy, and quality of life in the Naugatuck Valley,” said Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Executive Director Rick Dunne. “We can no longer sit back and wait while the facility continues a trend of corporate neglect. It is vital that our resource agencies take immediate action and not let this owner continue to abuse their exemption.”

“The Kinneytown Dam is the reason the Naugatuck River cannot realize its potential as the largest watershed entirely located within Connecticut that should be teeming with wild ocean run fish,” said Save The Sound Soundkeeper Bill Lucey. “The current owners have done nothing to get fish over the dam and have essentially destroyed two spring fish runs through their inaction, setting the restoration of the river back several years and stranding millions in taxpayer funded efforts to clean up and open the river.”

“The Kinneytown dam is the only thing holding back the restoration of the Naugatuck River,” said Naugatuck River Revival Group President Kevin Zak. “FERC has been given enough evidence to sanction Hydroland for their non-compliance. FERC has the authority to right this wrong. We cannot wait another 20 years. When is enough enough. Hydroland and any new partner needs to create safe, timely and effective fish passage and follow it with sophisticated efficiency testing to prove they accomplish these new standards set for fish passage.”

The Connecticut Federal Delegation has supported the efforts of the Naugatuck Council of Governments and Save the Sound to push FERC to require substantial movement by the dam owner on the passageway, including calling on FERC to revoke the exemption, which would make the dam worthless. On December 22, 2021, FERC formally found the Kinneytown Dam to be in violation of its authority to operate. FERC rejected project owner Hydroland’s numerous excuses and held it squarely responsible for these continuing violations.

NVCOG Welcomes Sustainable CT Fellows

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) is excited to welcome this summer’s Sustainable CT Fellows Adrian Huq and Michio Agresta.  Each summer, Fellows are placed with Councils of Governments (COGs) to assist municipalities in achieving Sustainable CT certification and to support the COGs with sustainable actions and projects. Sustainable CT partners with Connecticut COGs to facilitate regional planning of sustainability initiatives, communicate and track progress, and to provide towns with overarching frameworks for sustainability goals. 

Adrian Huq is a rising junior at Tufts University in Massachusetts with a major in Applied Environmental Studies and a minor in Film and Media Studies. They are passionate about recycling and waste management, climate change, and climate justice. Adrian is returning to NVCOG for their second summer as a Sustainable CT Fellow and is eager to see the progress that municipalities have made since last year. In their free time, one of Adrian’s hobbies is doll collecting.  

Michio Agresta is a senior at the University of Connecticut with a major in Natural Resources and minors in Spanish and Human Rights. Michio has plans to study abroad in Lima, Peru this fall. As a Sustainable CT Fellow, he looks forward to getting to know the 19 municipalities of our region and is excited to learn more about sustainability initiatives. In his free time, Michio enjoys listening to music, hiking, mountain biking, and skateboarding. 

PRESS RELEASE: EPA Highlights Over $4 Million Brownfields Investment in Waterbury

Click here to access the press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

 

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help revitalize properties in Waterbury and the Naugatuck Valley, Build a Better America, and Address Environmental Justice Concerns

Contact Information

Mikayla Rumph (rumph.mikayla@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1016
 

WATERBURY, CONN. (June 2, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe and EPA New England Regional Administrator David Cash, along with Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy, Congresswoman DeLauro, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes, Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary and Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Executive Director Rick Dunne, highlighted the $4,050,000 investment in Waterbury made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to revitalize communities across the country by cleaning up contaminated and blighted sites and redeveloping them for productive uses.

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and President Biden’s leadership, EPA’s Brownfields program is making a record investment of more than $4 million to revitalize sites throughout Waterbury and the Naugatuck Valley,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “Both the City of Waterbury and the Council have earned EPA brownfields funding in the past and continue to run successful programs repurposing sites for redevelopment. Today’s investment of EPA Brownfields assessment and cleanup funding will jump start economic redevelopment and job creation in an underserved community as we work to turn environmental risks into economic assets.”

The City of Waterbury will receive a site-specific assessment grant of $150,000 for the Former Button Factory at 835 South Main Street in Waterbury.

EPA’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grants provide funding for a grant recipient to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. Through these grants, EPA strengthens the marketplace and encourages stakeholders to leverage resources to clean up and redevelop brownfields. When loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned into the fund and re-lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community.

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, of Waterbury, is receiving an additional $3,900,000 to supplement their successful revolving loan fund program which serves the Naugatuck Valley area.

The Council was selected for supplemental RLF funding because the organization has demonstrated success in using their revolving loan funds to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. The supplemental funds will be used to continue their progress in revitalizing vacant and abandoned properties and turning them into community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services, and commerce opportunities.

Brownfields sites often lie in proximity to overburdened and vulnerable communities where people live, work, play, and pray. These funds serve to support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties and are part of a historic national EPA investment in Brownfields remediation. Brownfields funding helps begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges that have burdened these communities for far too long.

The new Brownfields funding announced this year includes approximately $180 million from the historic $1.5 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help turn brownfield sites across the nation into hubs of economic growth and job creation, along with more than $75 million from appropriated funds.

“This critical federal funding is a major investment in the Naugatuck Valley that will create jobs and help transform polluted land into economically viable and environmentally safe parcels that communities will use for years to come. These much-needed awards assist our communities in protecting the health of residents, incentivizing economic growth and development, and improving the quality of life for all. I am proud to support this grant and will continue fighting for future funds for Connecticut,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

“The EPA’s nearly $7 million investment in brownfield cleanup across Connecticut will have a major impact on our local economy and help transform these abandoned sites into new businesses, housing, and more. This grant is yet another example of how funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making a big difference in our communities,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law delivered the single-largest investment in U.S. brownfields infrastructure. The funds announced today by EPA will help to begin brownfield remediation projects across Connecticut that urgently need them, and I am proud that we have secured $5.05 million for brownfield remediation in Connecticut’s Third District. Connecticut, and in particular the Naugatuck Valley, is home to some of the oldest industrial properties in the country. Remediating and redeveloping these sites is key to the economic growth of many of our communities. This is about keeping our neighborhoods sustainable, enhancing climate resiliency, and protecting the people who call these communities home. As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, I remain steadfast in my commitment to keep fighting for investments in brownfield remediation in Connecticut and across the country,” said U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.

“Brownfield remediation is vital to the economic development, environmental safety, and public health of our community” said Congresswoman Hayes. “I have fought for brownfield remediation funds in every annual budget and infrastructure package since entering Congress. I am thrilled that over $4 million dollars will go to Waterbury and surrounding communities for the assessment and redevelopment of brownfield sites. This funding will bring a cleaner, healthier environment and increased economic opportunity for areas that have faced obstacles to growth,” said U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes.

“DEEP greatly appreciates EPA’s continuing commitment to brownfields redevelopment in Connecticut,” said Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes. “DEEP is proud to continue to partner with EPA, and with cities, towns, and with non- profit and for- profit developers to facilitate cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields in large and small communities across Connecticut. DEEP congratulates the City of Waterbury and the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments on their success in EPA’s brownfields grant competition, and we look forward to witnessing the transformation of the former Button Factory in Waterbury and sites in the Naugatuck Valley area into safe, productive community assets.”

“Our industrial past has left us with many brownfield sites,” said City of Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary. “However, with the support of the EPA, we have been able to make significant strides in reclaiming these properties, putting them back to use, creating jobs and expanding our tax base”.

“With this grant NVCOG will continue to spur the transformation of blighted properties into bankable development deals. The ability to make the crucial up-front investment in disadvantaged communities ensures we can continue to facilitate safer neighborhoods for families and business,” said Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Executive Director Rick Dunne.

EPA’s Brownfields grants and assistance to Waterbury this year is among other significant annual investments by EPA to help New England communities to address brownfield properties. Across the six New England states this year, EPA will be awarding a total of $51,285,200 to assess or clean contaminated brownfields sites in 42 communities.

In New England, since the beginning of the Brownfields program, EPA has awarded $125 million in assessment grant funding, $122 million in revolving loan fund grants and supplemental funding and $87 million in cleanup grant funding, totaling $334 million. These grant funds have paved the way for more than $4 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and for over 23,000 jobs in assessment, cleanup, construction and redevelopment.

Background

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

Redevelopment made possible through the program includes everything from grocery stores and affordable housing to health centers, museums, greenways, and solar farms.

The Brownfields Program delivers on the Biden Administration’s Justive40 initiative, which states that at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs flow to disadvantaged communities. EPA is committed to meeting and exceeding this goal.

This funding helps communities begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields by stimulating economic opportunity and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.

More information

Brownfields in New England

For more on Brownfields Grants

For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program

NVCOG Seeks Input on CT Route 229 Corridor Study

PRESS RELEASE
 
Waterbury, Conn. — The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG), along with the City of Bristol and the Town of Southington, announces a draft of the CT Route 229 Corridor Study Final Report. This comprehensive review observes aspects of the corridor in its current state, considers alternatives for improvement in key locations, and provides recommendations.
 
The final report can be found on the NVCOG website via this link: https://nvcogct.gov/project/current-projects/transportation-planning-studies/bristol-route-229-corridor-study/. The study identified issues with delays at intersections, a lack of amenities for cyclists, gaps in the sidewalk network, difficulties accessing driveways and unsignalized streets. Based on these issues, the study recommends the following improvements:
 
  • Along the entire length of the route, install a multi-use trail to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists. 
  • Fill sidewalk gaps opposite the multi-use trail to provide pedestrian access on both sides.
  • Add an additional Southbound through lane from ESPN Drive to Executive Boulevard N. in Southington, ensuring two through lanes in either direction between I-84 and Route 72. 
  • Realign several intersections to improve operations and safety. 
The 30-day public comment period for this study is now open until June 30. Written comments can be submitted to contactus@nvcogct.gov. Questions can be directed to Richard Donovan at 203-489-0361.
 
Translation services for the final document are available upon request.

A summary page can be accessed here in English and Spanish.

Contact:

Desira Blanchard
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
203-489-0353
dblanchard@nvcogct.org

NVCOG Hosts Successful Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Sale

PRESS RELEASE

Waterbury, Conn. — The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) recently concluded a successful sale of backyard composters and rain barrels. Residents purchased a total of 80 composters and 60 rain barrels, contributing to the diversion of organic waste from the waste stream and helping to conserve water resources.

NVCOG offered compost bins, rain barrels, and related accessories at wholesale rates to residents of the Naugatuck Valley Region through an online store. Items were available for pickup in Bethlehem and Seymour on May 21.

Each composter is estimated to divert 500 lbs. of organic yard and food waste annually from the municipal solid waste stream, helping to transform waste into valuable compost for amending soil for vegetables, flowers, or lawns.  With ever-dwindling space to send our trash and the resulting increase in disposal fees, backyard composting is an easy way to reduce waste and municipal disposal costs. Combined with composters sold in 2021, NVCOG’s efforts are helping divert an estimated 85,500 pounds of municipal solid waste annually.

The 55-gallon rain barrels provide a reliable source of chemical-free water for outdoor uses like watering lawns and gardens.

Residents can visit www.nvcogct.gov/compostersale to learn more or sign up to be notified of future events.

Contact:

Desira Blanchard
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
203-489-0353
dblanchard@nvcogct.org

City of Waterbury Submits RAISE Grant Application

The City of Waterbury submitted a $24 million RAISE grant application proposal on April 12, 2022, to the United States Department of Transportation for a project entitled “Waterbury Active Transportation Economic Resurgence (W.A.T.E.R.) Phase II.” NVCOG and the Waterbury Development Corporation, the city’s economic and community organization, assisted the City of Waterbury in developing a full application in a short turnaround.

The project is anticipated to total $30 million with the city seeking 80% in federal funds.

The proposal included four active transportation project components:

  1. Phase II of Waterbury’s Section of the Waterbury Naugatuck River Greenway Trail (~$9.9M)
  2. Jackson Street Riverfront Park (~$6.9M)
  3. West Main Street Renovation and Improvements (~$9.8M)
  4. Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at the Waterbury Train Station (~$200,000)

This investment leverages the work of NVCOG as a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and our other aligned projects in the transit corridor by continuing efforts to reconnect neighborhoods, expand mobility choice, and advance health equity for communities of concern by increasing access to resources and physical activity.

The project narrative and additional documents can be found at this link.

Register today for NVision 2022!

NVision 2022: Naugatuck Valley Conference on Fostering Equitable Development is a one-day regional conference bringing together stakeholders from the public and private sectors to discuss our region’s future.

Interactive sessions with expert panelists will help frame the Greater Naugatuck Valley’s path on key issues related to transportation, affordable housing, and public involvement. The conference will feature guest speakers Governor Ned Lamont and Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary.

This event, hosted by the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG), will take place on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT. The conference is free and open to the public.

Click here to register today!

CT Rides Hosts “Drive Less” Challenge

During the month of May, CTrides is encouraging all residents, students, and employees in Connecticut to join the challenge to help reduce auto emissions by traveling by train, bus, carpool, vanpool, biking, walking, or telecommuting (working from home). See below for details and click here to view the PDF.