CT Environmental Policy Act
We have played a leading role in several CEPA cases, including hiring attorneys, supporting the Attorney General’s Office, and testifying in court. In the last few years, the organization was a plaintiff in two CEPA lawsuits – one involving commercial buildings on Bank Street in New London, and another involving an 18th century home in Milford.
You can help protect the places we love.
Help us be ready the next time a historic resource in your community is under threat.
Influence State and Private Action
Projects Subject to CEPA
A Bargaining Chip
But the CEPA may provide leverage that can be used to obtain concessions to protect an area’s historic character: better architectural or landscape design, thorough documentation of the building before it is torn down, salvage of important parts, or an offer to allow the building to be moved to another site, maybe even with some of the cost of demolition thrown in for an incentive.
State Agency Obligations
In 2017, the SHPO reviewed about 2,500 state- or federally-funded or permitted projects for environmental compliance, finding three-quarters of them to involve “no historic properties affected.” If there are significant impacts anticipated, however, then the project sponsor must conduct an environmental impact assessment or study. This assessment details the existing conditions of the project location, presents a consideration of alternatives to achieve the project goals, and analyzes potential impacts to the environment by the proposed alternatives. The results are shared with other agencies and the public for review and comment. The project sponsor must review and respond to all comments in a final document called the Record of Decision. The State Office of Policy and Management provides a final review and determines whether or not the environmental documentation is adequate and the project may go forward.
For example, the City of Shelton received money from the State to promote development along its historic industrial canal. The original plan included a significant amount of historic building loss. Through intense negotiations, SHPO and the City worked out a plan that includes far less loss, as well as a National Register nomination for the remainder of the historic resources. In addition, Shelton will become a Certified Local Government, offer tax abatements for improving blighted properties, adopt a demolition delay ordinance, and allow SHPO to review designs for any new construction.