Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) feels confident after a two day special environmental hearing concerning the proposed nine mile Busway from New Britain to Hartford. 

   Speaking at the Department of Energy and the Environment’s (DEEP) hearing, Senator Markley expressed concern that an environmental and operating study done on the Busway ten years ago is out of date.

   “I don’t believe that use of the existing rail road has been considered as an alternative to the Busway,” said Sen. Markley. “This hearing is a very technical process. But I am hoping we will make some very important points that will carry weight with the hearing officer.”
The DEEP hearing officer will decide whether an inland wetland permit should be granted for the project.  After the hearing officer makes the final recommendation the ultimate decision will then be in the hands of DEEP Commissioner, Daniel Esty.

   Senator Markley said, “This Busway is bad for the environment and bad for the taxpayers.  I intend to stay on the issue until this misbegotten project is stopped.”

    According to the DEEP hearing officer, an answer on whether the Department of Transportation will be granted an inland wetlands permit could take as long as four months.  Construction on the nearly $600 million Busway cannot begin until the permit is approved. 

   The hearing was rescheduled from last week because of the amount of evidence lawyers had to review.  The special hearing was held in the Holcombe conference room at DEEP headquarters.