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Environmental Law

Judicial Branch Now Publishing Headnotes for its Supreme & Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

The Judicial Branch has announced that it is now publishing a syllabus (headnote) at the top of each Supreme and Appellate Court opinion:

The Judicial Branch is now posting online headnotes for both Supreme and Appellate Court opinions. These headnotes, which accompany individual Supreme and Appellate Court decisions, include a short summary of the ruling and the procedural history of a case. The Reporter of Judicial Decisions prepares the headnotes, which are not part of the opinion. As such, the opinion alone should be relied upon for the reasoning behind the decision [Emphasis added].

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Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

SC19799 - Middlebury v. Connecticut Siting Council ("This appeal concerns a proviso contained in General Statutes § 16-50p, which precludes the defendant, Connecticut Siting Council, from granting a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need (certificate) for operation of an electric generating or storage facility unless the council, among other things, 'considers neighborhood concerns' with respect to specified factors. The plaintiffs, the town of Middlebury and sixteen residents and entities situated in Middlebury and adjacent towns, appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their appeal from the decision of the council granting the petition of CPV Towantic, LLC (CPV), to open and modify a certificate for an electric generating facility. The plaintiffs' principal claim is that the trial court improperly determined that the council adequately had considered neighborhood concerns, despite the absence of express findings or analysis in its decision addressing the plaintiffs' concerns about adverse impacts from the facility. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

Environmental Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

SC19620 - Connecticut Energy Marketers Assn. v. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection (Declaratory judgment; sovereign immunity; "The issue that we must address in this appeal is whether the issuance of a comprehensive energy strategy by the defendant Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (department), pursuant to a legislative directive, and the subsequent approval of a plan to expand the use of natural gas in this state by the department and the defendant Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (authority) constituted ' "actions which may significantly affect the environment" ' within the meaning of General Statutes § 22a-1c, thereby triggering the requirement for written evaluation of the expansion plan's environmental impact pursuant to General Statutes § 22a-1b (c). The plaintiff, Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, brought this action against the defendants claiming that they violated the Environmental Policy Act (act), General Statutes § 22a-1 et seq., when the department issued a comprehensive energy strategy that contemplated a significant expansion of the use of natural gas in this state, and when both defendants approved a plan for such expansion, without evaluating the environmental impact of, among other things, an increase in the use of natural gas pursuant to § 22a-1b (c). The defendants filed separate motions to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint claiming that only 'individual activities or a sequence of planned activities proposed to be undertaken by state departments, institutions or agencies, or funded in whole or in part by the state, which could have a major impact on the state's' environmental resources; General Statutes § 22a-1c; constitute 'actions which may significantly affect the environment' for purposes of § 22a-1b (c). Because they did not undertake any such activities, the defendants claimed, no environmental impact evaluation was required. The trial court agreed with the defendants and rendered judgment dismissing the complaint. The plaintiff claims on appeal to this court that the trial court improperly determined that the defendants' activities did not constitute 'actions which may significantly affect the environment' for purposes of § 22a-1b (c). We disagree with the plaintiff, and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

  • SC19620 Dissent - Connecticut Energy Marketers Assn. v. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection