Connecticut’s landscape is dotted with approximately 5,500 dams, most of them on private property. The state currently has only one full-time dam inspector — not nearly sufficient to ensure that the dams are sound, according to the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Save the Sound.
HB 6441, An Act Concerning the Dam Safety Program, would let landowners have dams on their property inspected by qualified private sector engineers instead. The idea has wide support, but session is coming to an end and we need your help in making sure the bill gets a vote soon!
Please call one or more of these leaders today:
• Rep. Brendan Sharkey, Speaker of the House: 860-240-8500
• Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, House Majority Leader: 860-240-8489
• Rep. Linda Gentile, Environment Committee co-chair: 860-240-8585
Callers will reach an aide or an answering machine. Here’s a sample script you can use:
“Hi, my name is ___ from _[town]_. I’m calling to ask Representative ___ help make sure HB 6441, An Act Concerning the Dam Safety Program, comes up for a vote soon. This bill will improve public safety and encourage the removal of old and unnecessary dams, and it should not be held up any longer.”
Can you do more? Call your own representative and ask him or her to support HB 6441 in two ways: first, by asking their leadership to make sure the bill is brought up for a vote, and second, by voting yes on HB 6441 once it’s called. Call the House Democrats switchboard at 800-842-8267 or the House Republicans switchboard at 800-842-1423 and ask to be connected to your representative by name. If you don’t know who your state representative is, you can look them up and find their phone number on the CGA website or at www.votesmart.org.
The policy change in HB 6441 is a simple measure that will have multiple benefits:
• Protecting the public from the hazards of dam failure
• Protecting landowners from liability
• Creating steady jobs for private sector engineers
• Encouraging the removal of unnecessary dams, which restores natural flow to rivers, prevents the buildup of toxic sediments, and allows fish access to their upstream spawning grounds
Read more in this factsheet.