Location: Statewide, Connecticut | Status: Active
Summary: In 2019, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved the acquisition of Connecticut Water Company by San Jose Water Company. Due to a requirement that the transaction be in the public interest, Save the Sound was able to intervene in these proceedings to ensure that open space and drinking water resources were protected. Save the Sound negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement that included the following: 1) a process that provides land trusts and municipalities additional time and exclusive discussions to consider the acquisition of at-risk CT Water Company lands (totaling 480 acres located throughout the state) for conservation in perpetuity–building on top of existing state laws that also provide economic incentives for conservation; and 2) a review of opportunities for passive recreation on CT Water Company lands (which currently total 6500 acres of open space land that is largely inaccessible to the public).
Save the Sound’s legal team has been advising CT Water Company and land trusts in the implementation of the supplemental review process of at-risk lands, ensuring that there is full opportunity for their permanent conservation if they are sold. In June 2022, CT Water Company finalized agreements to transfer six parcels no longer needed for water supply purposes to several local towns and land trusts, which will permanently preserve that land as open space for hiking, running, snowshoeing, and birding. The parcels, which range in size from 8 to 19 acres, will be sold to the Borough of Naugatuck, the Town of Prospect, the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust, and the Bethany Land Trust. These transactions will be finalized over the next year.
The legal team also participated in the development of proposals to expand passive recreation, focusing on opportunities for partnerships with conservation groups and targeting areas of the greatest potential impact, such as urban areas with limited open space access or proximity to public transit. On October 8, 2021, CT Water filed a report, drafted in consultation with Save the Sound and CT Forest & Park Association, describing priority opportunities to expand passive recreation on or adjacent to CT Water Company-owned land.
Latest Step: CT Water Company and municipalities/land trusts are finalizing transactions for the permanent conservation of certain water company lands.
Next Step: Save the Sound will continue to offer support for the land transactions and the implementation of priority recreation opportunities, as described in the October 8, 2021 report.
- How Connecticut Law Protects Water Company Lands
- PRESS RELEASE: Over 82 acres of Connecticut Water Company property in Naugatuck, Killingworth, Bethany, and Prospect headed toward permanent conservation
Last Updated: November 17, 2022