The Ridgefield and Redding Boards of Selectmen have met to discuss lawsuits alleging violations of the U.S. Clean Water Act. The towns each reached agreements with Save the Sound, an environmental advocacy group that filed the lawsuits. Federal regulators must now review the agreements and a federal district court judge must also accept them. The nonprofit claims that both Ridgefield and Redding were in violation of Connecticut’s General Permit for the Discharge of Municipal Stormwater.
Middletown and Burlington were also accused of failing to keep track of their municipal stormwater systems. If approved, the agreements call for the towns to sample stormwater outfalls and achieve a 2 percent reduction in connected impervious areas.
The towns would also contribute to the cost of Save the Sound’s attorneys’ fees and the nonprofit’s engineering experts. The Norwalk River is mentioned in the lawsuit as one of nearly a dozen impaired bodies of water threatened by pollution.
Municipalities are required to file paperwork regarding their stormwater systems with state regulators. The Ridgefield town engineer tasked with filing annual stormwater reports retired in 2018, and the position has not been filed. First Selectman Rudy Marconi noted that the town plans to upgrade sewer lines and a treatment plant to address water quality and environmental issues.
The agreement with Redding would require the town to provide $70,000 to fund a feasibility study for dam removal work on the Norwalk River and to support ongoing work to improve passage for migratory fish coming from the Long Island Sound. Ridgefield would provide $70,000 to support work to reduce stormwater runoff to the origin point of the Norwalk River.