CEQ: IOTM Archives

Indicator of the Month:  Archives
 
At monthly meetings, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut. We discuss what the indicators tell us about key trends, and we assess the quality of the information and decide if technical changes to the indicator are needed. The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
Below are a few featured indicators from recent months.
 
 

Featured Indicator for May 2013: 

"CEQ Annual Air Pollution Index" 

At monthly meetings, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut. The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
The CEQ Annual Air Pollution Index in the most recent edition of Environmental Quality in Connecticut shows that total levels of air pollution in Connecticut have been reduced in five of the past six years. (The other air indicator, Good Air Days, shows that the most of those years also saw more bad air days, a pollution paradox that is explained in this news release.) After considerable research and discussion, the Council made several important changes to this indicator. Whereas it used to be a composite of six air pollutants, it now includes only five; lead had been eliminated from this indicator because levels of lead have been extremely low for many years. Other technical changes were made that are described in a staff memo. The revamped index was introduced as an update to the 2012 edition of Environmental Quality in Connecticut. As in all cases where indicators are recalculated for current yers, the Council applied the new methodology to recalculate and display the data for all prior years.
 
 

Featured Indicator for August 2012: 

"Piping Plovers on the Beach" 

At monthly meetings, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut. The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
The piping plover indicator in the most recent edition of Environmental Quality in Connecticut shows that piping plovers have continued to expand their breeding populations. The Council concluded that this indicator remains a good indicator of a specialized habitat -- the narrow band of sand above high tide -- on which several species depend. Because rising sea level threatens the continued existence of this habitat, the Council will explore the addition of a sea level indicator.
 
 

Featured Indicator for July 2012: 

"Inland Wetlands" 

At monthly meetings, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut. The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
The inland wetlands indicator in the most recent edition of Environmental Quality in Connecticut shows that destruction of inland wetlands continues along a favorable trend. However, the Council concluded that some of the available data are not of sufficient quality. In particular, the data on wetlands creation and enhancement lack reliability, and the Council will discontinue that portion of the indicator. Also, following considerable discussion, the Council concluded that the "acres altered by the average permit" indicator probably was affected by economic trends, even though the indicator was developed specifically to be independent of economic trends. For future years, the Council intends to modify that indicator by including only certain categories of permits in the average; however, extracting that data from DEEP's database can be a problem.
 
 

Featured Indicator for October 2010: 

"Electricity, Part 2" 

At every monthly meeting, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut. The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
The electricity indicator in the most recent edition of Environmental Quality in Connecticut shows that businesses have been using less electricity per unit of production. As a result, economic growth has been able to occur without increasing consumption of electricity and the pollution that comes with electricity production. The Council decided to make a technical change to the indicator to display each year's level of economic production per amount of electricity consumption (to replace the current display of electricity consumption per unit of economic production).
 
 

Featured Indicator for September 2010: 

"Electricity, Part 1" 

At every monthly meeting, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut.  We discuss what the indicators tell us about key trends, and we assess the quality of the information and decide if technical changes to the indicator are needed.  The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
The electricity indicator in the most recent edition of Environmental Quality in Connecticut shows that households continue to purchase appliances that are less than fully efficient. As a result, part-time power plants generate needless air pollution, especially in cities, on summer's hottest days when air quality already is bad. This occurred on September 2, 2010 when some Connecticut towns saw their worst air quality in at least two years and seldom-used, kerosene-burning turbines were fired up in Hartford. Council Chair Barbara Wagner urges her fellow residents to purchase efficient, Energy Star rated air conditioners in a September 9, 2010 news release. The Council will add trends in market share for Energy Star Air conditioners to its future annual reports.
 
 

Featured Indicator for January 2010: 

"Inland Wetlands" 

At every monthly meeting, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut.  We discuss what the indicators tell us about key trends, and we assess the quality of the information and decide if technical changes to the indicator are needed.  The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
The wetlands indicator in the most recent edition of Environmental Quality in Connecticut shows that towns and cities have made nearly constant improvement in the protection of wetlands within their borders.  However, improvement in two specific areas is needed, as explained by Council Chair Barbara C. Wagner in this January 4, 2010 news release.
 
 
 
 

Featured Indicator for December 2009: 

"Forest"

At every monthly meeting, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut.  We discuss what the indicators tell us about key trends, and we assess the quality of the information and decide if technical changes to the indicator are needed.  The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
The Council plans to change the Forest indicator in the 2009 report. The new indicator will highlight changes in the acreage of "core" forests: forested acres that are at least 300 feet away from the forest edge. Council Chair Barbara Wagner comments on the loss of core forest land and in a December 7, 2009 news release.
 
 
 

Featured Indicators for November 2009: 

"Preserved Land" & "Farmland"

At every monthly meeting, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut.  We discuss what the indicators tell us about key trends, and we assess the quality of the information and decide if technical changes to the indicator are needed.  The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
Preserved Land tracks the total acreage preserved by cities and towns, nonprofit organizations, water utilities and the state.  The Council has determined that the numbers are not accurate, and might discontinue this indicator.  Read more about Preserved Land.
 
Farmland depicts the combined acreage of agricultural fields, pastures, vineyards and orchards as calculated from satellite imagery.  The Council views this as an improvement over its prior reliance on federal agricultural census data.  Also shown is the acreage preserved by the state Department of Agriculture.  Read more about Farmland.
 
Council Chair Barbara Wagner comments on the unexpected revelations of these two indicators in a letter to Governor M. Jodi Rell and in a November 5, 2009 news release.
 
 
 
 

Featured Indicators for October 2009: 

"Good Air Days" & "Clearing the Air"

At each monthly meeting, the Council examines one or more of the Environmental Indicators that appear in Environmental Quality in Connecticut.  We discuss what the indicators tell us about key trends, and we assess the quality of the information and decide if technical changes to the indicator are needed.  The Council invites comments from all interested people.
 
Good Air Days is a simple sum of the number of days during a year when every air monitoring station in Connecticut records satisfactory air quality.  Read more about Good Air Days.
 
Clearing the Air is more statistically complex, as it depicts the total amount of air pollution in a year as a single dot on the chart.  Read more about Clearing the Air.
 
Council Chair Barbara Wagner comments on the progress illustrated by these two indicators in an October 6, 2009 news release.


Content Last Modified on 5/29/2013 5:05:21 PM