The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today issued a proposed final decision recommending the issuance of an inland wetlands and watercourses permit to the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) required for the construction of the New Britain to Hartford busway. The proposed final decision can be accessed on the DEEP web site.
After considering the information presented at hearings, including testimony and exhibits admitted into the record, a DEEP hearing officer concluded that the work in the specified inland wetlands areas would not violate the state’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act and recommended that the Commissioner of DEEP grant the application and issue the permit. The hearing officer found that “this dedicated bus rapid transit facility has been planned and designed to avoid or minimize impacts to wetlands or watercourses and there is evidence that the wetlands and watercourses that are presently of poor quality with little or no functions or values will be restored, enhanced and established through improvements such as the installation of stormwater treatment systems and the development of a wetlands mitigation site.”
DOT is proposing to construct a 9.4 mile long Busway corridor from New Britain to Hartford. Under the state’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act, the proposed activity requires an inland wetland permit from DEEP because it will affect approximately 2.11 acres of inland wetlands and 7,108 linear feet of watercourses and waters of the state.
The proposed final decision now goes to the Commissioner of the DEEP, or his designee. Parties to this matter have the opportunity to file exceptions on or before February 15, 2012 and make oral arguments in front of the Commissioner regarding the proposed final decision. After any exceptions and oral arguments are heard, the Commissioner will then make a final determination on the permit on behalf of the agency.