Home > News > News > Immediate Action Needed to STOP HB 5475 and the Weakening of Key Environmental Regulations


Connecticut State Capitol

Attention Conservation Advocates!

We need your help to STOP HB 5475, a bill that, despite its good intentions to promote affordable housing, will have devastating results in diluting inland wetlands protections and diminishing opportunities for public participation.

In particular, CLCC joins other advocates in opposing two sections of the bill:

  • Section 1c removes the ability for CT residents, organizations, local governments, etc., to intervene via the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) in proposed housing developments.
  • Section 3 allows municipal legislative bodies to exempt certain properties from Inland Wetlands and Watercourse Act regulations. As written, this is not limited to housing.

To make matters worse, the most damaging parts of this bill didn’t even get a public hearing.


If you didn’t sign the letter, you can still let your legislators know that Sections 1c and 3 of this bill are bad for Connecticut and roll back 50 years of environmental legislation.

With just two more weeks in the state legislative session, it is critical to make your voice heard now.

You can use the following template created by Save the Sound

Dear Rep./Senator ______________:

I’m writing as your constituent to express my concern with HB 5475/File No. 419, a Planning and Development Committee bill.

This bill’s intent is to increase access to housing in our state, which is an important goal. However, if passed in its current form, it will not achieve this goal and would, instead, undermine Connecticut’s Environmental Protection Act and be our state’s biggest environmental rollback in decades. Please work with your colleagues to remove section 1(c) and Section 3 of the bill.

1. Section 1(c) seeks to change Sec 22a-19 of Connecticut’s General Statutes on intervenors. It would limit intervenors on residential applications to abutters and those within 100 feet of the proposed project.

2. Section 3 would allow municipalities to adopt ordinances exempting certain areas from inland wetlands approval. Certain projects would therefore circumvent the entire inland wetlands process, exposing our most fragile habitats to irreversible destruction. Impacted residents would have no recourse, regardless of the extent of environmental damage.

As written, these provisions would allow for unchecked environmental destruction by creating a profit-based incentive for developers to ignore environmental impacts on the surrounding landscape.

I am especially concerned that these fundamental changes to the state’s longstanding environmental ethic were made with no public input or hearing and were not developed in consultation with environmental stakeholders.

Given that the federal Supreme Court has recently rolled back wetlands protections in the Sackett v. EPA case, state protections are the only ones that exist now in many cases. It is critical that Connecticut re-affirm, not weaken, its commitment to protecting the invaluable resources for future generations.

I appreciate the bill proponents’ intent to increase safe and sustainable housing; however, the proposed limit on CEPA intervention does not achieve this and would remove critical environmental and public health protections.

Please work with your colleagues to remove Sections 1(c) and 3 from HB 5475/File No. 419, and signal your unwillingness to vote for it in its current form.


Your name, Town, Organization (if applicable)