CEQ: About Us

About Us

The Council on Environmental Quality was created in 1971 to do three jobs:

1. Assess the condition of Connecticut's environment and report its findings annually to the Governor, and recommend actions to improve state environmental programs.

2. Advise other state agencies on the environmental impacts of proposed construction projects.

3. Investigate citizens' complaints and allegations of violations of environmental laws.

In addition, under the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality reviews Environmental Impact Evaluations that state agencies develop for major projects. The Council also publishes the Environmental Monitor, the official website for state project information under CEPA and for notices of proposed sale or transfer of state-owned lands.

The primary duties of the Council on Environmental Quality are described more fully in Sections 22a-11 through 22a-13 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

The Council is a nine-member board that works independently of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (except for purely administrative functions). The Chairman and four other members are appointed by the Governor, two members by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and two by the Speaker of the House. Members donate their time and expertise. They work closely with staff to shape the Council's priorities and recommendations.


Susan D. Merrow (Chair)

Resident and former First Selectman of East Haddam. Member, East Haddam Conservation Commission. Member, Connecticut Advisory Committee, Trust for Public Land. Board Member, Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Coordinating Committee; Former President, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Former President, National Board of Directors, Sierra Club. Author, One for the Earth: Journal of a Sierra Club President. Board Member, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters. Former Trustee, Connecticut River Watershed Council.


Janet P. Brooks 
Resident of Middletown. Attorney with law office in East Berlin with a practice in environmental, administrative and land use law. Member of the Connecticut Bar Association Planning & Zoning Section and Environment Section. Co-author of Connecticut Environmental Protection Act, Volume 15 of the Connecticut Practice Series published by Thomson West.  Formerly Assistant Attorney General in the Environment Department of the Connecticut Attorney Generalís (AG's) Office for 18 years enforcing the stateís environmental laws running the gamut from noise, odor, water pollution, air pollution, pesticides to habitat protection and preservation of land.  While at the AGís Office, coordinated the wetlands appeal practice and developed the legal training for wetlands commissioners for DEPís annual training. Recipient of 1984 German Marshall Fund grant to study the effect of citizen participation on hazardous waste clean-ups in four European countries. Based on those experiences, authored a chapter published in Americaís Future in Toxic Waste Management: Lessons from Europe. Staff Attorney for five years at the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Inc., representing citizens groups in administrative and court proceedings. Began practice of law assisting the Middletown City Attorney in the cityís opposition to the utility companyís burning of PCB waste oil within the city boundaries.
Lee E. Dunbar
Resident of Mansfield. Retired. Previously, Assistant Director, Bureau of Water Management and Land Re-Use, Planning and Standards Division, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Responsible for developing scientifically defensible water quality standards and criteria to protect human health and aquatic life. Developed and implemented environmental monitoring and assessment methods. Participated in the development of regulations to better manage stream flow in Connecticut streams affected by water withdrawals and diversions. Oversaw the development of regulatory programs including the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program, Nitrogen Trading Program, and Water Quality-based Discharge Permitting Program. Awarded Lifetime Achievement Environmental Merit Award by the U.S. EPA in 2010 for significant contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving. Board Member, Eastern Connecticut Forest Landowners Association. Board Member, Wolf Den Land Trust.
Karyl Lee Hall

Resident of Branford. Attorney with the Connecticut Legal Rights Project.  Formerly with Murtha, Cullina, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Connecticut Legal Services. Chair, Branford Conservation Commission.  Board Member, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Co-chair, Scenic Roads Advisory Committee for Routes 146 and 77. Member, Advisory Board, Branford Land Trust. Vice President, Citizens for Branford's Environment, 2002-2009. Connecticut Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award, 2003. Former Co-chair, State Implementation Plan [for Air Management] Revision Advisory Committee.

Alison Hilding
Resident of Mansfield. Long-time advocate for the environment and children, viewing clean air and clean water as important dimensions of child advocacy. Member, Connecticut Commission on Children, 2003 to present; Executive Board since 2008, Secretary since 2012. Founding member, Mansfield's Citizens for Responsible Growth. Background in financial management; worked for NYNEX in areas of capital budgeting for growth and modernization. Manages artistic estate of an American Modern artist.
Michael W. Klemens
Resident of Salisbury. Educated in the United States (University of Connecticut) and the United Kingdom, Dr. Michael W. Klemens is a trans-disciplinary practitioner. Formally trained as a herpetologist, his current practice spans conservation biology, land-use planning, and empowering communities through the understanding and use of scientific data. Working at the interface of human societies and the natural world, he engages a diversity of stakeholders to explore how to create patterns of development that are ecologically resilient, economically viable, and socially equitable. More than three decades of field work have been concentrated in the northeastern United States. Through the support of the MacArthur Foundation he spent several years in east Africa, working with indigenous institutions to build capacity in biodiversity assessment and application of those data to protected area management, as well as studying the ecological impacts and economic mechanisms of the wildlife trade. His publications include the definitive study of Connecticut's amphibians and reptiles and over 100 scientific papers. In 1979 he joined the scientific staff of the American Museum of Natural History, where he continues collections-based research on amphibian and reptile biodiversity. He serves as a consultant to various government agencies, as well as municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, and developers and  is in his second elected term to the Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission, most recently (and currently) as its Chairman.


Karl J. Wagener, Executive Director
Peter B. Hearn, Environmental Analyst

Content Last Modified on 3/6/2015 4:01:20 PM