‘We are not tracking the loss of wetlands’

To the Editor:

Your good reporting on the hearing on problematic excavation at Cambridge and Independence drives is very helpful.

The issue raises enough policy and process questions to  fill at least a semester at UConn Law School. What are the rules for gravel and rock mining in Connecticut?   Should there be a limit on the export of earth materials? What happens when local environmental protections appear to break down? What is the role of the state and the Army Corps or EPA? Who is responsible for remediation, and so forth.

As the former executive director at Rivers Alliance of Connecticut (and a current consultant there), I look at these issues in relation to the question: How can we save our high-value waters? Keep in mind, that we actually do not know how much of this vital resource we have. We are not tracking the loss of wetlands.

The excavation project that Monroe land-use commissions are now considering has caused serious harm to nature’s natural reservoir, i.e., wetlands. It’s important not only to repair whatever can be repaired, but also to figure out what went wrong so that this kind of resource loss doesn’t happen again anywhere in Connecticut.

Margaret Miner,


1 Comment

  1. Margaret Miner and the River Alliance of Connecticut deserve a standing Applause in their unrelenting efforts to rescue and clean up Connecticut’s sensitive Environmental Landscape. For years, our lands have been routinely victimized by Profiteers, looking to make a quick buck, who have turned areas of our beautiful land into nothing more than a wasteland of residual toxins. Margaret’s energetic efforts are truly inspiring.

    By way of background, 64 Cambridge and 4 Independence Drives were exploited to line the pockets of wealthy businessmen under the guise of a legitimate permitted construction application. Originally, these two Sites were granted a grading Permit to accommodate multiple large, Commercial buildings in 2006. The Town granted these permits in order to boost Monroe’s much needed Tax Revenue. Arnold Karp, and his predecessor John Kimball have shamefully over excavated the area and created a Commercial Quarry, where possible illegal toxic materials have been routinely dumped. Much like what happened over at the Fairfield City Yard. It should also be noted that former First Selectman Steve Vavrek turned a blind eye to these practices. With the help of brave Connecticut residents such as Margaret Miner, we are now making progress in stopping the destruction of land and our precious water supply.

    As the Owner of neighboring acreage, I have been very concerned about the pollution taking place at 64 Cambridge and Independent Drives. I praise all of Margaret’s efforts as well as those efforts of the Inland Wetlands Commission, the Planning and Zoning Commission, Town Staff and First Selectman Ken Kellogg. My hats off to all of you for undertaking this mighty effort.

    Sincerely Peter Metropoulos

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