Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5583

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING AN AGREEMENT REGARDING ANNUAL WATER LEVEL DRAW DOWNS AT BASHAN LAKE IN THE TOWN OF EAST HADDAM.

Vote Date:

3/16/2016

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/11/2016

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Environment Committee

Rep. Melissa H. Ziobron, 34th District

Sen. Art Linares, 33rd District

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill would require the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, town of East Haddam and the Bashan Lake Association to agree on a drawdown of the lake each year. The Town and the Association have both raised concerns that the drawdown does not occur with enough frequency since a request must be made to DEEP in order for this to occur.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Robert Klee, Commissioner, Department of Energy & Environmental Protection: Commissioner Klee states that this bill could cause unintended and significant ecological impacts if they are to partner with the town of East Haddam and the Bashan Lake Association to draw down the water. He says there is already an administrative process used each winter in which towns are required to submit requests for draw down of lakes and therefore sympathizes with the town due to the town's recent repair project. According to Commissioner Klee, DEEP does not support this bill because it would create additional legislation impeding the limited resources it already has.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Senator Art Linares, 33rd District: Senator Linares says that Bashan Lake is one of the many beautiful natural assets in his district and it is a location enjoyed by residents and visitors. He fully supports the continued efforts of the Bashan Lake Association in their advocacy for keeping the lake clean and beautiful. He believes this bill would help with ridding the invasive species that have grown across the state.

Mark Walter, First Selectman, Town of East Haddam: Selectman Walter states that his town is very involved with the Bashan Lake Association and keeping their lake clean for all of its residents through support of water runoff, clearing storm drains and diverting water into marsh land. The town also supports the lake fiscally to fund weed control. Lastly, Selectman Walter says that the Association and town would be responsible partners in evaluating and accomplishing whatever else is needed to help the lake.

Craig Chalifoux, President, Wildwood Inc.: Mr. Chalifoux believes the drawdown of the lake is important for the docks and waterfront properties from possible winter weather damage. Wildwood Inc. recognizes the importance of the watershed it also maintains to prevent weeds from continuing to grow.

Randall Miller, Board Member, CT Federation of Lakes: Mr. Miller raises some of the same points as Mr. Chalifoux, however he stresses the drawdown “will also act as a deterrent to the growth of aquatic invasive species” that winter temperatures will kill if the lake bottom is exposed. This will save property owners money of them each taking their own measures to keep the lake clean from weeds.

Maryellen DiLuzio, EnviroTech Laboratories LLC: Ms. DiLuzio has professional experience with testing lake waters and says Bashan Lake “is well known to be in the top three cleanest lakes” in the state. She states that when the State took more control over the lakes, the application process of drawing down lakes became an inconvenience for Bashan Lake Association. Ms. DiLuzio credits the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for helping to save the lake once it became invaded by weeds, but believes the delayed replacement of the dam last year caused the lake level to be 18 feet lower than usual all season. In closing, Ms. DiLuzio says the state no longer providing a lake manager has led to some of the problems the Association has to deal with.

The following people provided testimony in support of this bill and state that it will help keep the lake clean year round, as it is a beautiful piece of property:

Alice Sabo, Moodus

Allis Brooks Hanley, East Haddam

Arnold Olson, Wallingford

Barbara Giangreco, Bashan Lake

Bruce Fletcher, East Haddam

Cheryl Duey & Jim Ingala, East Haddam

Dan D'Addeo

Daniel Kehoe, Andover

Daniel Roberts, East Haddam

Dennis Bengtson Jr., East Haddam

Dennis Bengtson Sr., East Haddam

Donald Massoni, East Haddam

Dr. Gregory & Roberta Egnaczyk

Edmund Gubbins, East Haddam

Edward & Nancy Smith, East Haddam
Eileen Washburn, Wethersfield

Erica Goodwin, Bashan Lake

Francis & Constance Brancieri, East Haddam

Fred Hetzer, East Haddam

Janette & Jeffrey Lange, New Haven

Janice Czapiga, Bashan Lake

Janie Pittendreigh

John & Christine Mozonski, East Haddam

John & Barbara Hoban, Colchester

Karen Lombardi

Kathleen Bahe, Fairfield

Kathleen Hutchinson, East Haddam

Kathy Palmer, Hebron

Keith Sabo

Kelly & Peter Reiter, Stamford

Kenneth & Wendy Crouse, East Haddam

Linda Baccaro, East Haddam

Linda Dewhurst, East Haddam

Lori & Jeff Olson, East Haddam

Lynn & Frank Pulito, Glastonbury

Lynne Frick & Jayne Pearson, Wildwood Cottage Owners

Marjorie Kimball

Martha Santoemma, North Haven

Mike & Diana Widger, Bashan Lake

Nancy Davidson, East Haddam

Patricia Marra, East Haddam

Patricia Smith, Bashan Lake

Patrick Bengtson, Bashan Lake

Peter Sabo & Dana Lamb, Pawcatuck

Phillip Zwick, East Haddam

Richard & Paula Robinson, Simsbury

Ron & Ruth Denya, East Haddam

Ronald & Deborah Kapushinski, East Haddam

Ryan Bengtson, Bashan Lake

Sharon Trombley, Bashan Lake

Susan Deguzis, Bashan Lake

Susan Sabo-Bengtson, East Haddam

Susan Wasowicz, East Haddam

Thomas Novak, East Haddam

Thomas Quirk, Middletown

Tim Sabo, East Haddam

William Denya, Bashan Lake

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None Expressed.

Reported by: Alexandra Rice

Date: 3/17/16