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(l-r) Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) 2017 Environmental Champion Award was given to Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (center) shown here with CCE Executive Director Adrienne Esposito (left)) and CCE Connecticut Program Director Louis Burch (right). (Photo courtesy CT GA )
Awarded by Citizens Campaign for the Environment
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HARTFORD, CT – Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) presented Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D, District 12-Branford) with its 2017 Environmental Champion Award. CCE is one of Connecticut's leading environmental advocacy organizations. Formed in 1985, CCE now has 80,000 members in Connecticut and New York who work with legislators like Senator Kennedy to pass laws that preserve and protect the environment.
"Senator Kennedy is a fighter on key environmental protection issues and LI Sound restoration," said Louis Burch, Connecticut Program Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "He has demonstrated himself to be a strong advocate for recycling in Connecticut, fighting to reduce plastic packaging and successfully defending the state's Container Deposit Law. He has also helped protect children's health in our state, as well as protecting the health of bees and other struggling pollinator populations by eliminating undue exposure to harmful, toxic pesticides. CCE is honored to present him with our 2017 Environmental Champion Award."
"Connecticut's environment is one of our state's most vital assets, and its protection is critical to the future of our state and our economy," said Senator Kennedy, Co-Chair of the Environment Committee. "I have worked alongside the Citizens Campaign for the Environment to pass laws that have removed toxic pesticides from playgrounds, expanded access to green energy, protecting Long Island Sound and state waterways and cutting down on plastic pollutants. These laws have passed with strong, bipartisan support, and the advocacy of Citizen's Campaign for the Environment helped make that happen. I look forward to continuing to work with them in the upcoming legislative session as we continue the fight to ensure Connecticut's environment remains intact for the benefit of future generations."
As Co-Chair of the Environment Committee, Senator Kennedy has worked to draft and pass multiple laws affecting Connecticut's environment. Some of the laws he introduced and passed include:
Establishing a Long Island Sound Blue Plan
Senator Kennedy introduced legislation, which has now taken effect as Public Act 15-66, to establish a Long Island Sound Blue Plan to ensure that Connecticut has a coordinated strategy for future use the Sound by requiring the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and relevant stakeholders to study and compile an inventory of the Sound's natural and human resources. Once finished, the Blue Plan provide a detailed inventory of all natural resources, plant and animal habitats, and environmental features along Connecticut's coastline. It will also provide information on the impact that climate change could have on the coast, allowing for more effective preservation strategies in the future.
Senator Kennedy introduced and led passage of legislation that now serves as a national model to ban small plastic pollutants known as "microbeads". Microbeads are small, non-biodegradable plastic pellets commonly added to many cosmetic products, including facial scrubs, soaps, shampoos and toothpastes.
It is estimated that Connecticut residents wash three tons of microbeads down the drain every year. Once entering the wastewater system, many of these tiny plastic beads find themselves carried into streams and rivers, ultimately flowing into Long Island Sound. Where they are consumed by fish and passed up the food chain to other wildlife and humans.
In 2016, Senator Kennedy worked to address the alarming, rapid die-off of bees and other pollinators, creating a major environmental crisis, threatening our agricultural economy and ability to grow food. Senator Kennedy quickly assembled the leading bee and farm experts in the state and led passage of the most comprehensive pollinator health law in the nation. This innovative approach cuts down on the use of pesticides known to be the most acutely toxic to bees, while also promoting the widespread planting of pollinator-friendly vegetation on our roadsides and utility rights-of-way.
Cutting down on Consumer Packaging
Senator Kennedy's has worked to reduce packaging waste and improving recycling infrastructure. Excess and unneeded packaging costs CT towns and taxpayers millions of dollars in increased municipal disposal costs. Working in concert with Connecticut's business community, this new initiative aims to reduce packaging in our municipal solid waste, identify best practices and promote the use of biodegradable and recyclable material.
Bringing "Cow Power" to Connecticut Farms
Senate Bill 943, now Public Act 17-218, promotes the use of cow manure and food waste as a renewable energy source through the process of anaerobic digestion. The bill also creates an easier, cheaper and faster regulatory permitting process for farmers who are interested in adopting this technology.
Senator Kennedy represents District 12 comprising the towns of Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison & North Branford.
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