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Letter to Editor: In response to DOT I95 project and FS Camillo committee

First Selectman Camillo has formed a committee of residents and officials, including Reps. Meskers and Arora and a representative from the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, that are demanding that the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) take positive steps to reduce noise pollution as part of their upcoming $200+million I95 improvement project. In addition to quiet paving, quiet joints, and noise barriers, trees and vegetation are another highly effective strategy to reduce noise pollution.

Over the past few years, CTDOT has clear cut acres of trees in Greenwich and noise levels have increased dramatically in town as a result. CTDOT treat trees like obstacles to be removed rather than assets to be maintained – assets which provide noise abatement as well as reduce flooding, sequester carbon dioxide, reduce cross winds (particularly important for vans and trucks), and moderate heat among many important benefits that these wooded roadside corridors provide. For this project which extends from Exit 2 through Ext 6, CTDOT fails to provide a plan identifying the number, size or location of trees to be removed although it has provided much other data on accidents, vehicles per day, and the like.

Connecticut is actively moving forward with plans and initiatives to address climate change while CTDOT is undermining these goals by wholesale tree removals in Fairfield County including Greenwich, Stamford and Westport and across the state.  It is sadly ironic that at a time when there is widespread acknowledgement of the many benefits that trees provide, that CTDOT is allowed to remove these valuable woodland assets with impunity. We urge the Governor to require CTDOT to document all trees that are anticipated to be removed; provide a site plan of tree removals to local officials for review and consensus; work with local officials to develop a re-vegetation plan as part of the design process and provide mitigation funds for re-planting species in removal areas.  If you would like to add your voice to this effort you can email the CTDOT Commissioner Giulietti at Joseph.Giulietti@ct.gov and copy our First Selectman Camillo at fred.camillo@greenwichct.org and our state delegation who can be contacted via cga.ct.gov.

 

Cheryl Dunson

President

Greenwich Tree Conservancy

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