Powerful legislation in Connecticut requires water companies—the second-largest owners of open space in the state—to give land trusts a head start when they put land up for sale. You get 90 days to learn about the conservation opportunity and evaluate whether you’re interested in the purchase of water company land before a developer or other buyer can step in. But the burden of making yourself known to the sellers is on you! That’s why it’s so important to file your contact information with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), which oversees the sale of water company lands. When a water company puts land up for sale, the water company is required by law to let you know—if you’ve told them how to reach you.
Currently, many land trusts are missing from PURA’s notification list. So, CLCC is working in partnership with Save the Sound to get that list updated. Here’s what you need to do:
- Look at the current list to see if your contact info is up-to-date.
- If it is not current, or if you are not on the list at all, fill out this form.
- Send that form to firstname.lastname@example.org and copy email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the Sound and/or CLCC will follow up to be sure your information is recorded.
We’ll reach out to you annually to remind you to update your contact information.
Being notified of a sale can lead to big results. Just look at the Greenwich Land Trust, which, in partnership with the Town of Greenwich, recently acquired 8 acres of open space to add to 72 it had previously purchased from Aquarion Water Company. When the chance arises to purchase and preserve valuable land like this, the law provides water companies incentives, in the form of tax credits and the allocation of economic benefits to shareholders, which encourage them to sell to a land trust or other private, nonprofit landholding organization at a cost below market value and for permanent conservation. Read more about how these laws work to promote conservation, with your help, here. Water companies can be valuable conservation partners with a shared interest in preserving open space. But that partnership only works if you’re on the list.