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Lawmakers To Esty: Offer An Opinion On Land Swap

Nancy Eve Cohen


Three lawmakers are asking the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to weigh in on a controversial proposal to swap land in Haddam. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

As part of a land conveyance bill 17 acres of state conservation land within view of the Connecticut River would be exchanged for 87 acres next to a state forest. The state would swap the land with a developer who wants to build a hotel and restaurants on the land near the river. So far the state  Commissioner Dan Esty hasn’t spoken publicly about the bill. But Representatives Richard Roy  and Clark Chapin along with Senator Andrew Roraback sent him a letter yesterday asking him to write them about the legal, environmental and financial implications of the swap by late this afternoon. Senator Roraback.

"I believe the Commissioner abrogates his responsibility when he declines to offer an opinion which lies at the core of his jurisdiction. His agency owns the land in question. His agency will become the owner of the land in question, if the swap goes through. I think he and the Governor have an obligation to speak."

In a separate move, Senator Ed Meyer has proposed an amendment to the conveyance bill. It would allow nine other land transfers to go forward. But in the case of the Haddam swap it would require the Department of Environmental Protection to review the proposal and make a report to the General Assembly by February.


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