Correction, 5 a.m. Tuesday, application number; 2 p.m., Monday – contact info for DEEP
NORWALK, Conn. – East Norwalk residents who object to the odors wafting from Norwalk’s sewage treatment plant have an opportunity to make their opinions count in an upcoming public hearing. So can anyone who is concerned at how close the plant was to being flooded during Superstorm Sandy.
The Dec. 2 Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) public hearing on Norwalk’s permit to discharge effluent into the Norwalk River was requested by 30 Norwalk residents in a petition presented to the state by Norwalk environmental activist Diane Lauricella, who said she is a member of the mayor’s Water Quality Committee.
Norwalk is applying to have its permit renewed for five years. The city is permitted to discharge 18 million gallons of treated wastewater a day into the Norwalk River.
Those signing the petition include Tony D’Andrea, former chairman of the Harbor Management Commission, Shellfish Commission Chairman Pete Johnson, owners of nearby marinas and people who live near the harbor.
A minimum of 25 people were required to sign a petition to request a hearing, Lauricella said. She said in a Sept. 16 letter to DEEP that she would have had hundreds more signatures on the petition if there had been more time.
Lauricella said there have been odors emanating from the plant whenever a truck arrives to pick up sludge and the garage door is opened.
“There have been real concerns expressed about how the sewage treatment plant operates, including its ability to handle discharges during storm emergencies, and other factors,” she said in the letter. “In addition, a public hearing would allow the public to be informed about the details of the discharge permit and foster future understanding and understanding of important infrastructure improvements.”
It’s a question of having a clean harbor, raising property values and protecting the health and quality of life of Norwalk citizens, the petition said.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, in the Public Works Center cafeteria at 15 South Smith St. Lauricella said she is seeking a larger venue for the hearing and that it may be rescheduled.
Anyone who would like to make a comment without going to the hearing can contact DEEP by:
• Sending an email to [email protected]
• Faxing 860-424-4052
• Mailing a letter to
Office of Adjudications, DEEP Headquarters
79 Elm St.
Hartford, CT 06106
The deadline is the close of business on Dec. 11. You must mention that you are contacting DEEP concerning application number 201001482.
The application is available for inspection at DEEP Headquarters, located at 79 Elm St. in Hartford. Questions can be emailed to [email protected] or you can call Ann Straut Esden at 860-424-3137.
If you think it stinks, write a letter and let the state know.