Letter: Aquifer protection compromise is ill-conceived
To the Editor:
The May 23, 2019 Ridgefield Press published a “Column” entitled “Aquifer Protection Agency: Facts and info.” After reading it several times, I remain puzzled as to its purpose.
It informs us that there are 10 aquifers in Ridgefield as defined by the State of Connecticut; that local regulatory authorities share aquifer protection with DEEP; that all regulated activities in aquifers are either prohibited or permitted according to regulations; that an activity should not be confused with a use in connection with wetland regulation; that one named DEEP official “recommends” keeping APA as part of P&Z and that there are shifting opinions in towns other than Ridgefield regarding where to place aquifer protection.
OK, and therefore what?
Is this compendium of “facts and info” supposed to convince the Board of Selectmen that Aquifer Protection should remain with P&Z about to be relieved of its IWB function? Should the Board of Selectmen buy into the flawed concept of keeping regulation and oversight of underground water (stratified drift, bedrock, etc.) separate from surface water?
There are deep and abiding friendships among and between town officials on various boards and commissions. Such friendships are wholesome and may contribute to community well-being as long as they don’t insinuate themselves into decisions vital to the well-being of Ridgefield citizens and the protection of our natural environment.
Board of Selectmen, your proposal/compromise to keep APA with P&Z while allowing for non-binding IWB input is at best ill-conceived, conceptually flawed and logistically awkward. You don’t owe P&Z a consolation prize. Aquifers, wetlands, vernal pools, streams, lakes, and rivers form an aquatic continuum which deserves the complete focus and holistic attention of an independent IWB/APA.
Michael J. Autuori
Florida Road, May 24