The Legislative Office Building may be closed, but there are still policy updates here and around the country!
Check out the latest below.
Hold your cans!
DEEP has suspended enforcement of the bottle bill until April 30th due to COVID-19. So grocery stores are not required to take back your empty bottles and cans, nor give you the 5 cent deposit for each one.
DEEP hopes that this suspension will allow grocery stores to funnel their resources into their most critical functions right now, like maintaining store cleanliness and protecting workers, while limiting interpersonal contact. “The Connecticut Department of Public Health believes that the risk of transmission is low, and that the greatest risk of transmission is from person-to person interaction,” reports Lou Burch, State Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
DEEP first made the announcement on March 17, but recently extended the suspension until the end of April, joining 7 other states with bottle bill suspensions. Like most things under COVID-19, the situation is rapidly changing, so check with DEEP for updates.
GC3 Continues under COVID
The Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) continues to meet virtually. CLCC participates in the Forest Sub-Group, part of the Working and Natural Lands Working Group, to discuss natural climate solutions for Connecticut.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been protecting America’s natural areas since 1964 - and has been constantly under threat since then. The LWCF is funded by annual royalities from oil and gas companies that offshore drill, but Congress has diverted much of that funding away from conservation.
On March 9, a bipartisan group of 56 Senators proposed the Great American Outdoors Act (S.3422) to permanently provide annual funding of $900 million for the LWCF. CLCC signed on to a letter to Congress in support of the Great American Outdoors Act, organized by the LWCF Coalition. Stay tuned for updates.
On March 31, the federal government announced a rollback of emissions standards, allowing car manufacturers to make less efficient engines, and thus requiring drivers to purchase more gasoline. Save the Sound reports, “Under the new rule, average motor vehicle fuel economy would need to reach 40 miles per gallon by 2025, rather than 54 miles per gallon as required under 2012 regulations.”