Attorney General: Recent Significant Environment Cases

Recent Significant Cases


United States v. Virginia Electric and Power Co., No. 03-CV-517A


The Consent Decree entered in this case provides $1.1 million for use by the Department of Environmental Protectionís Clean School Bus Program to retrofit school buses in Bridgeport and Hartford with diesel particulate filters and to pay the cost differential for the use by these buses of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.  These steps are part of the Stateís multi-faceted approach to cleaning our air and to reducing diesel emissions from school buses.


Rocque v. Nowinski, No. CV-01-0807406


This case, recently tried to the Hartford Superior Court, involves the permanent destruction through illegal excavation of state-owned public trust underwater and tidal wetlands that were used for commercial and recreational shell fishing.  A decision from the trial judge is expected shortly.


Ferris v. Faford, No. CV-02-0068652


This office represented the Department of Agriculture in a probate case against the heirs of a woman who had left her farmland to them, but had restricted the use of the property solely to agricultural uses.  In a court decision after trial, the trial judge found that one of the heirs had fraudulently offered for probate a previous will, which did not have such a restriction.  The court ordered that the estate be reopened, and that the distribution of the property to the heirs under the fraudulently-offered will be set aside.


Ventres v. Mellon, No. X07-CV-01-0076812


Representing the Department of Environmental Protection as intervenor, this office recently completed a trial against the owner of an airport in East Haddam, who illegally clear cut 2.5 acres of floodplain forest on land owned by the East Haddam Land Trust.  A decision from the trial judge is expected in the coming months.


Avalonbay Communities, Inc. v. Wilton, 266 Conn. 150 (2003).


This case involved the issue of whether a municipal inland wetlands agency pursuant to the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (IWWA) could deny a permit to a developer because proposed construction activities outside wetlands areas and upland review areas could result in the destruction of the upland habitat of spotted salamanders, thereby reducing their numbers and adversely affecting the biodiversity of the wetlands.  Environment Department attorneys took the position that the IWWA protects wetlands resources, which include the living organisms that compromise the wetlands ecosystems.  The Supreme Court, however, ruled that the IWWA protects only the physical characteristics of the wetlands and watercourses, but not their wildlife or biodiversity. 


Appeal of Islander East Pipeline Co., LLC.


This department is representing the Department of Environmental Protection in a proceeding before the United States Department of Commerce.  The DEP had objected to Islander Eastís coastal consistency certification on the grounds that Islander Eastís proposed gas pipeline through Long Island Sound would adversely impact shell fisheries.  The Secretary of Commerce, however, recently overrode the DEPís objection, concluding that any impact to shell fisheries would be insignificant.


Blumenthal v. Secretary of Energy, No. 03-40609 (2d Cir.).


The Cross Sound Cable Co. obtained a permit to lay an electrical cable in the ground below Long Island Sound, but then violated the permit by failing to bury the cable to the required depth.  Last summer, the Secretary of Energy issued an emergency order allowing the cable to be turned on.  This department appealed this order to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  Just recently, the Secretary ordered that the cable be turned off.

Content Last Modified on 11/3/2005 1:36:36 PM