Waste Reduction and Savings for Municipalities Hosted by NVCOG and SCRCOG

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) and the South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) are hosting two forums that will inform municipal staff and elected officials on the implementation and successes of Organics Diversion & Unit Based Pricing (UBP).  

The two-part forum will include one event for municipalities with transfer stations, and another event focused on implementing organics diversion and UBP with curbside pickup programs.   

The Forums will include an informational presentation, along with a panel of waste reduction personnel that will share their experiences on how they have operated and implemented Organics Diversion and UBP in their communities.  

The transfer station event hosted by NVCOG is scheduled for Wednesday, January 10th at 10am via Zoom. You can register for this webinar at https://tinyurl.com/TransferStationForum. 

The curbside collection event hosted by SCRCOG is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17th at 10am.  You may register for this webinar at https://tinyurl.com/CurbsideCollectionForum. 

These forums follow the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (CT DEEP) efforts to address the state’s shrinking waste capacity by reducing waste. Organics Diversion and education on UBP are being piloted in 15 Connecticut towns through grant funds from the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Grant program provided by DEEP. 

 It is essential that municipalities find a sustainable solution for waste disposal, because according to CT DEEP disposal costs are rising as over 800,000 tons are currently being shipped to out-of-state landfills and landfill capacity in New England is expected to drop to zero as early as 2041 Governor Lamont Announces 2023 Legislative Proposal: Addressing the Future of Materials and Waste Management (ct.gov).  We look forward to having a valuable discussion on how to practice sustainable waste management in your community! Feel free to reply to this email with any questions. 

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NVCOG’s Successful 2023 RBP Annual Meeting On Brownfield Transformation

Aerial image over Ansonia’s Maple Street Bridge with downtown Main Street in the background.

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments hosted the 2023 annual meeting of the Regional Brownfields Partnership on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at the newly revitalized Senior Center in Ansonia, located at 65 Main Street. The meeting brought together Regional Brownfields Partnership (RBP) members, public and private stakeholders, and brownfield enthusiasts. This year’s choice of venue, the recently rejuvenated Senior Center, served as a symbolic testament to the potential of brownfield redevelopment. 

The core focus was on the transformative impact of brownfields, championed by visionary Chief Elected Officials (CEOs), who embrace brownfield redevelopment. The commitment is clear – to reclaim vacant or abandoned brownfield sites, transforming them into tax-generating parcels that positively impact member communities.  

2023 Financial Overview

Michael Szpryngel, NVCOG Finance Director, provided key insights into the Regional Brownfields Program’s financial reports.  

Noteworthy financial points included: 

  • A substantial $4.1 million in active NVCOG DECD grants and $810k in active CTBLB DECD grants have significantly contributed to the program’s initiatives. 
  • 100% of NVCOG and CTBLB DECD applications have been fully funded. 
  • Over the past two years, the RBP municipalities have been awarded a total of $18 million in active DECD grants.  

Connecticut Brownfield Land Bank (CTBLB) Update

Rick Dunne, CTBLB President, provided a comprehensive update on the completed and pending projects for the 2023 calendar year across various RBP municipalities: Ansonia, Bristol, Derby, East Hampton, Seymour, Southington, and Waterbury. The Connecticut Brownfield Land Bank, Inc. (Land Bank) is a fee-based, non-profit corporation offering brownfields support to Connecticut municipalities. To learn more about CTBLB visit the website at https://ctblb.org/. 

Program Updates & Project Activities

Steven Perry, NVCOG Environmental Planner mentioned significant events and milestones such as the O’Sullivan Island Pier Grand Opening in Derby in July 2023 and the 313 Mill Street, Waterbury George Tirado Sr. Park opening ceremony in September 2023. A notable project involves the progress in remedial activities at 698 South Main Street, Waterbury (Amanet).

To learn more about active and completed Brownfields projects visit the Brownfields Projects – NVCOG CT – Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments.  

Seated at the Ansonia Senior Center, all participants are fully engaged and actively listening to the presentation.

Engaging Discussions

Attendees participated in enriching discussions led by distinguished guest speakers.  

The team from Tighe & Bond, James Olsen, Nicholas Granata, and Harley Langford, delved into Brownfield Due Diligence Requirements and illuminated the crucial roles of Licensed Environmental Professionals. 

Randi Mendes, PhD and Katie Malgioglio, MSW, from UConn Technical Assistance for Brownfields Program (TAB) provided insights into their services and highlighted their crucial role in community engagement support. 

Mayor Carbone of Torrington and Karmen Cheung of Pennrose discussed the success story of the 100 Franklin Street Riverfront Redevelopment. 

Special Guests Recognized

The event also acknowledged the presence of esteemed guests: 

  • Katy Deng, Project Officer, EPA
  • Kayin Bankole, Project Officer, EPA
  • Meena Mortazavi, Environmental Analyst, DEEP
  • Amanda Limacher, Brownfield Coordinator, DEEP
  • Selena Thornhill-Moody, DEEP
  • Kelsey Shields, DEEP
  • Jennine Lupo, District Director, Office of Congresswoman Jahana Hayes 
  • David Morgan, President, TEAM Inc.

A special note of gratitude to Mayor Cassetti and the City of Ansonia for hosting this significant event.

The NVCOG’s 2023 Annual Meeting was not just a gathering; it was a collaborative exploration of possibilities, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to shape the future of brownfield redevelopment. Stay tuned for more updates on the RBP’s program updates and project activities. 

Presentation Materials

Watch the Video Recap

Stay Connected

The Regional Brownfields Partnership (RBP) is an NVCOG-hosted committee that is collaborating to address the collective redevelopment challenges that brownfields present in the region. 

Subscribe to the RBP Newsletter to receive updates from our Brownfields Team, Ricardo Rodriguez and Steven Perry, on some of the many active brownfield projects and funding opportunities in the RBP region. 

Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Spearheads Regional Response Effort to Achieve VMT Reduction Strategies

Waterbury, CT – The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) takes immense pride in announcing its proactive response to the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CTDOT) Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) reduction goal. NVCOG has diligently developed a comprehensive set of reduction strategies to ensure a sustainable future for transportation in the greater Naugatuck Valley region.

The CTDOT recently announced its ambitious target to reduce VMT by 5% by the year 2030. VMT reduction is crucial for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing congestion, and promoting sustainable transportation choices. Recognizing the significance of this initiative, NVCOG, in alignment with its mission to provide transportation planning and regional assistance to its member municipalities, has actively engaged in research and analysis to devise comprehensive solutions tailored to the specific needs and challenges faced by the Naugatuck Valley region.

The prepared response encompasses a multifaceted approach, targeting various aspects of transportation and mobility. From enhancing public transit options and promoting active transportation alternatives to encouraging zoning and development policies centered around transit-oriented development, these strategies aim to create a sustainable and efficient transportation system for the residents and businesses of the region and the state.

Key Reduction Strategies Proposed by NVCOG include:

1. Enhancing Public Transportation Infrastructure:

NVCOG is committed to developing and expanding existing public transportation services, making them more accessible, reliable, and user-friendly. This includes improving connectivity across the region, enhancing last-mile connections, and increasing the frequency of services. 

2. Promoting Active Transportation:

In order to reduce dependency on private vehicles, NVCOG will prioritize the promotion of active transportation modes such as walking, rolling, cycling, shared micro mobility options, and the implementation of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.

The full VMT Reduction Strategy can be accessed via the NVCOG website at https://nvcogct.gov/project/vmt-reduction-strategy/.

Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization Designated a Transportation Management Area

For Immediate Release: November 14, 2023

Richard Donovan
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments

Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (CNVMPO) Designated a Transportation Management Area (TMA) for Vital Transportation Planning

(Waterbury, CT) – The Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (CNVMPO) is pleased to announce its recent designation as a Transportation Management Area (TMA), approved by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. As specified under the federal transportation regulations codified in 23 USC §134(k)(1), the CNVMPO requested designation because its population did not meet the threshold for such designation automatically. Governor Lamont fully supported and concurred with this request. This significant designation represents a pivotal moment in the CNVMPO’s ongoing commitment to enhancing transportation infrastructure and services in the Waterbury urban area and its surrounding communities.

The CNVMPO, chaired by Mayor of Waterbury Neil O’Leary, is the federally designated metropolitan planning organization for the Waterbury urban area, serving a diverse urban population of 331,564 people, according to the most recent Census statistics. The complex, diverse, multimodal transportation infrastructure in the CNVMPO planning region necessitates a thorough approach to system performance evaluation and identifying opportunities for improvement. TMA designation provides the CNVMPO more local control to implement transportation projects that align with the needs and aspirations of the municipalities it serves. Furthermore, this designation secures federal funding opportunities to drive transformative projects aimed at improving quality of life, decreasing congestion, and protecting the environment.

Richard Donovan, Transportation Planning Director at the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG), expressed his gratitude, stating, “We deeply appreciate the Connecticut Department of Transportation, Governor Lamont, and USDOT for acknowledging the quality of the planning program executed by the staff of the CNVMPO. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact that the TMA designation will bring to our communities. With the aging transportation network in the Waterbury Urban Area, we see a valuable opportunity to revitalize our infrastructure in a way that promotes economic development, enhances safety, and fosters transportation equity within our region.”

This designation was made possible through collaboration and coordination with the CNVMPO’s partners, including the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT). The CNVMPO worked closely with the CTDOT and Connecticut Division of Federal Highway Administration. Their support was invaluable for securing this designation.        

Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Receives Grant to Develop Regional Open Space Inventory

For Immediate Release: November 13, 2023 

Christine O’Neill  
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments               

Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Receives Grant to Develop Regional Open Space Inventory 

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) was awarded $92,000 by the U.S. Forest Service to update and improve a Regional Open Space Inventory for priority parcels across the 19 municipalities within the Naugatuck Valley. A Stakeholder Kickoff will be held virtually on Monday, December 4th at 2.p.m via Zoom. 

During the Regional Open Space Inventory Stakeholder Kickoff, NVCOG staff will discuss the project and the roles envisioned for partners. Town Planners, Town Clerks, GIS/IT staff, Conservation Commissioners, land trust members, and staff from water companies within the Naugatuck Valley are strongly encouraged to attend. Attendees can register to participate in the kickoff online at bit.ly/nvcogopenspace. Any questions may be directed to coneill@nvcogct.gov or 203-489-0351.  

Open Space is defined in the Connecticut General Statutes as land whose preservation would conserve natural resources, enhance public recreation, preserve historic sites, or promote orderly development. Examples of Open Space in the region include farmland, playgrounds, wildlife preserves, village greens, hiking trails, and more. This U.S. Forest Service grant will enable NVCOG to research and catalogue important information on priority parcels as identified by municipalities and land trusts.  

Tracking Open Space on a regional scale is challenging, given the different interpretations and record-keeping methods used among municipalities. NVCOG plans to work with stakeholders including municipal land use staff, Conservation Commissions, land trusts, and water companies in each of the 19 municipalities to identify priority parcels. Staff will then follow up with municipal clerks to consult land records to obtain the latest GIS mapping information. This information will be used to update and build out the NVCOG’s Open Space GIS viewer. Additionally, NVCOG will produce a report with municipal annexes that documents findings on Open Space in the region and provides high-level recommendations. 

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) 

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, and American Sign Language) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. 

To file a program discrimination complaint, a complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online at https://www.ocio.usda.gov/document/ad-3027, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by: 

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or 

(2) Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or 

(3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov. 

PRESS RELEASE: Solar Inspection Training for Connecticut Building Officials

For Immediate Release: November 9, 2023
Christine O’Neill
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments


Solar Inspection Training for Connecticut Building Officials 

WATERBURY, CT – The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG), in partnership with SolSmart, is offering a free, virtual training on best practices for inspections of solar installations. The training is open to all building officials and will take place on Friday, December 8th from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

Event speakers will include Jeffrey Cook and Sertaç Akar from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Connecticut State Building Inspector Omarys Vasquez. These presenters will review solar inspection best practices, codes and standards, how to develop and use an inspection checklist, and the integration of solar with energy storage systems. 

Building officials who attend this training will be eligible to receive one OEDM Continuing Education Credit. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance.  

NVCOG is a regional agency that supports 19 municipalities in west-central Connecticut with transportation, environmental, land use, and other types of planning. SolSmart is a U.S. Department of Energy funded program that provides no-cost technical assistance to governments to promote solar energy use, and awards designations to celebrate communities and regions for their excellence in this field. NVCOG currently holds Bronze SolSmart status and looks forward to achieving Silver status early next year. 

To join the training, please register at bit.ly/nvcogsolar. Questions may be directed to coneill@nvcogct.gov