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.