Beth Bye Named a ‘Legislative Champion’ By State Environmental Group
State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) has been named a “2016 Legislative Champion” by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) for her thoughtful and heroic defense this year of Connecticut’s natural resources, and particularly for her leading role in the fight to protect Connecticut’s dwindling and embattled public water supply.
While Sen. Bye was generally lauded by the CTLCV for her commitment to protecting a variety of state environmental priorities, she was especially praised for her role in writing and leading the bipartisan Senate passage of Senate Bill 422, “An Act Concerning Residential Water Rates, Public Drinking Water Supply Emergencies and Sellers of Bottled Water.”
That bill came in response to the public outrage over a deal between the Metropolitan District Commission(MDC)—which provides drinking water to about half a million people in the greater Hartford region—and the Niagara Bottling company to use as much as 1.8 million gallons of MDC water every day at a proposed Bloomfield water bottling facility.
Sen. Bye, area residents, the CTLCV and others opposed that deal, citing Connecticut’s ongoing drought, the MDC’s offer of reduced prices the more water that Niagara used, and how the private sale of water to commercial customers can be prioritized over private customers during water emergencies.
The bill passed in the Senate but was not raised for a vote in the House; Sen. Bye has already encouraged the bill’s debate and passage in the legislature next year.
“The bill that I helped pass in the Senate with the support of the CTLCV and so many area environmental activists was really groundbreaking inasmuch as it put water companies and super-users like bottling companies on notice that we recognize that water is a valuable and limited public resource, and that perhaps it is time that more thought is given to how this limited public resource is used and protected. It was a very energizing debate and vote,” Sen. Bye said. “Like they have been on so many other issues affecting the environment and our fantastic quality of life here in Connecticut, the CTLCV was with me every step of the way, so I see this award not so much as an individual award, but a team award, to be shared by me and the League and the environmental community and with everyone who cares about protecting and preserving Connecticut’s natural surroundings. It’s really a team effort, and one that I am proud to be a part of.”
The CTLCV is a bipartisan, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Connecticut’s environment by making it a priority for our elected leaders. As a legislative watchdog, the CTLCV helps to pass laws that protect Connecticut’s air, water, wildlife, and open space.
For more details from the CTLCV 2016 Environmental Scorecard, please visit: http://www.ctlcv.org/2016-scorecard.html