June 8, 2023 – Yesterday, the Connecticut Senate passed a deeply flawed piece of legislation (HB 6664) that will undermine Connecticut’s efforts to solve its waste crisis. The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk. If signed into law, the bill will keep the state trapped in a toxic, climate-damaging cycle of burning, rather than reducing and diverting, waste. This follows the Connecticut House of Representatives’ passage of the same bill earlier this week.
“This bill is dangerous; it incorporates last-minute amendments intended to push waste gasification on Connecticut communities at the expense of their health and the environment,” said Kevin Budris, Just Zero’s Advocacy Director. “Waste gasification has the same toxic, climate-damaging impacts as incineration, and it has a long history of failure across Europe and elsewhere. Forcing gasification on Connecticut through a last-minute amendment without a public hearing is reckless, irresponsible, and undemocratic.”
As amended, HB 6664 requires the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to issue a request for information on waste gasification systems. The bill also amends current Connecticut law to allow technologies that burn waste to qualify for funding from the Connecticut Green Bank intended for “clean energy,” and it authorizes the Green Bank to issue bonds to fund waste gasification facilities.
“Unfortunately, the legislature missed a real chance this session to pass significant source reduction measures like single use plastics bans, recycling improvements, and food waste diversion,” said Ann Gadwah, Advocacy and Outreach Organizer at Sierra Club Connecticut. “Pushing false solutions like trash incineration and gasification will lead Connecticut further away from the real Zero Waste solutions that can help solve Connecticut’s waste crisis.”
Just Zero and Sierra Club are committed to working with the Connecticut General Assembly and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to implement Zero Waste solutions that will address Connecticut’s waste crisis.
“Connecticut legislators and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have had ample opportunity to address the waste crisis in a just, safe fashion that puts communities first,” said Budris. “Legislators could have done the right thing, but instead they’ve chosen to embrace unproven technologies that will drain public money intended for green infrastructure, poison communities, and only make Connecticut’s waste crisis worse.”