Connecticut planning climate change projects with Inflation Reduction Act money
Connecticut is getting slammed with more severe weather. On Monday, state and local leaders rolled out a series projects to combat climate change, using millions of dollars from the new federal Inflation Reduction Act.
The announcement came along the banks of the Saugatuck River in Westport, a community that’s flooding more often.
“Downtown has experienced flooding in a number of different storms recently,” said Jen Tooker, Westport’s Republican first selectman.
But help is on the way -- from Washington. Towns across Connecticut can apply for a share of $2.6 billion in national climate resiliency funds.
"There are no shortage of projects, including right here in this community, that could potentially benefit,” said state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (D-Westport).
And it's not just Westport. Stratford is restoring marshlands – a critical buffer during nor'easters. New Haven is using "rain gardens" to absorb runoff. And across the state, stormwater upgrades are coming.
"There's examples all over the state where we've been developing these measures,” said Katie Dykes, the commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “And now, with these dollars, we can put that on steroids."
You can save money too. Homeowners can get big rebates for new heating and air conditioning systems, heat pumps, appliances and solar panels.
"You will save money,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. “Your costs of heating and air conditioning will go down."
In Westport, Tooker wants to add foliage around the town's parking garages to prevent flooding. They just need the money.
"The things we're looking to do from a standpoint of upgrades are incredibly expensive and incredibly complex,” she said.
Towns have to apply for the money from Washington in competitive grants. To help them identify projects and prepare their proposals quickly, DEEP is spending $10 million