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21st Annual Environmental Summit Starts Today, Goes Virtual


Tuesday, January 19, 2021   

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Legislators, advocates and experts are gathering today, virtually, to brainstorm solutions for the myriad threats facing Connecticut's environment.

The 21st annual environmental summit, which coincides with the start of the new legislative session, features webinars today, Thursday and Monday.

Lori Brown, executive director for the event sponsor, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, said revamping the state's recycling program is a high priority.

"We've now gone from being the state that started the bottle bill, a landmark law, to a state whose recycling rate is under 50%," Brown observed.

China has stopped accepting most waste from Connecticut because so much of it gets contaminated when it's all thrown together in the same bin, so cities are now having to pay big bucks to put it in landfills.

Advocates also are calling for a big expansion of programs to divert more compostable commercial organic waste such as food scraps away from the landfills.

The public can participate in the summit but must preregister at conservationeducation.org.

Brown also hopes to revive a proposal to get toxic polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals out of the products we buy, such as Teflon pans, clothing, toys, makeup and carpeting.

"We need to get that out," Brown insisted. "We need to stem the tide because it's very difficult to get it out of the water once it's out in the environment."

The summit also will discuss a proposed Killingly natural gas power plant, and will look at ways to achieve zero emissions from the electric grid by 2040.

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