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State Senator

Paul Doyle

Representing Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill & Wethersfield

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Wethersfield Delegation Speaks Out Against Tree removal at Brainard Airport

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WETHERSFIELD, CT—Senator Paul Doyle (D-Wethersfield), Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford), Representative Antonio Guerrera (D-Wethersfield) and Representative Russell Morin (D-Wethersfield) have submitted a letter to the Connecticut Airport Authority outlining their concerns for the tree obstruction removal plan at Hartford-Brainard Airport.

The delegation read their letter aloud at a public hearing at Town Hall on Thursday, April 27, 2017 and expressed their concerns, which include disrupting the ecosystem, diminishing opportunities for recreational activities for residents, and what the tree removal plan could mean for a possible airport expansion.

“I’m looking for solid justification that I have not yet seen for this cutting, so I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this,” Sen. Doyle said.

“Wethersfield residents have spoken loud and clear and the Airport Authority should listen,” Rep. Guerrera said. “The plan to remove trees from this land is not environmentally sound and ignores a previous conservation easement.”

“The current tree removal plan for Hartford-Brainard Airport is not in the best interests of Wethersfield residents. The trees in this area serve a vital environmental purpose and are important to residents for both recreation and the green space they provide,” Rep. Morin said. “I hope that the Connecticut Airport Authority will take our concerns seriously, and that an amended plan that better fits the needs of both the airport and the Town of Wethersfield can be reached.”

Their letter reads as follows:

April 27, 2017

To the Connecticut Airport Authority:

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share our position on the tree obstruction removal plan at Hartford-Brainard Airport. For several reasons, we believe that the current plan is not in the best interest of our environment or Wethersfield constituents.

First, the plan has not been adjusted to reflect concerns that were raised by Wethersfield residents in January. During the first CAA-sponsored public hearing on this matter, many residents spoke out against removing trees from the twenty acres of land located in Wethersfield because it would be environmentally irresponsible. These twenty acres of land are categorized as a floodplain forest. These forests have many benefits. Two of the most important include their ability to act as buffers between agricultural or urban areas and the state’s water resources and the biologically diverse habitats that we provide. For these two key reasons, we, along with residents, are firmly opposed to disrupting the ecosystem.

Additionally, this parcel provides opportunities for recreational activities that many of our residents enjoy. With the removal of these trees, the opportunities for recreational activity become diminished greatly.

Thirdly, this plan disregards the conservation easement that was put into place. This easement prevents the wholesale of cutting trees. It is alarming to know that this easement is being ignored in the planning of this project.

Lastly, residents still do not have answers to their questions from January regarding the tree removal process. When they presented their questions to the CAA, they were told that answers would be provided directly prior to the permitting phase. Our constituents deserve transparency in this process and we ask that any details on this removal process be shared so that the public may comment accordingly.

We appreciate your consideration of our position and hope that our concerns will be addressed.

Sincerely,

John Fonfara, State Senator
Paul Doyle, State Senator
Russell Morin, State Representative
Tony Guerrera, State Representative

Click here to download a PDF copy of the official letter.

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