DEEP: 2007 Legislative Summary

Summary of Legislation
Impacting the Programs of the DEP

2007 General Assembly Regular Session
and
June, 2007 Special Session

2007 Public Acts - Listed by Public Act Number

Please note that these brief summaries only cover those portions of the public acts that affect the programs of the D.E.P.; other topics not discussed in these summaries may be addressed in the acts. Links are provided to the complete language of the Public and Special Act and to the full summary of the Act.

Public Act 07-61 Senate Bill 1091
AN ACT CONCERNING DAM SAFETY

SUMMARY: This law establishes a procedure for local officials to follow when they inspect private dams; it expands the commissioner’s authority to compel improvements to dams that are not being properly maintained; it requires the commissioner to develop a form then requires dam owners to record that form on the land records identifying the existence of "high" and "significant" hazard dams; and it clarifies general permit authority for dams.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00061-R00SB-01091-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00061-R02SB-01091-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-81 Senate Bill 1224
AN ACT CONCERNING LICENSED ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONALS

SUMMARY: This law expands the options available to the LEP Review Board and the commissioner to sanction LEPs for professional misconduct or false statements; and clarifies certain aspects of the Transfer Act.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00081-R00SB-01224-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00081-R02SB-01224-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-85 House Bill 7121
AN ACT CONCERNING THE AQUIFER PROTECTION AREA PROGRAM

SUMMARY: This law requires municipal aquifer protection agencies to follow permitting processes that are similar to what municipal inland wetlands and watercourses agencies follow; it clarifies timeframes for level A and level B mapping; and it empowers municipalities to levy fines for aquifer protection violations provided the municipality enacts an ordinance that sets out a due process hearing procedure.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00085-R00HB-07121-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00085-R02HB-07121-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-189 House Bill 7249
AN ACT CONCERNING THE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING OF COVERED ELECTRONIC DEVICES

SUMMARY: This law establishes a system for consumer recycling of used electronics, including televisions and computer components. The system will be a "producer responsibility" model program, requiring manufacturers of equipment to facilitate and fund the collection and recycling operation. Many of the operational details of the program will be developed through a DEP regulation-making process.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00189-R00HB-07249-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00189-R02HB-07249-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-192 Senate Bill 1258
AN ACT CONCERNING UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS

SUMMARY: This law makes a number of important changes to the state’s commercial underground storage tank clean-up account program. The act also provides for the centralized storage of some UST records if they are readily available to the Department. Finally, the law specifies that regulations regarding removal of USTs, will require the removal of associated piping as well.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00192-R00SB-01258-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00192-R02SB-01258-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-231 House Bill 6768
AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPROVAL OF SMALL ALTERNATIVE ON-SITE SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEMS

SUMMARY: This law creates a statutory delegation to the Department of Public Health of certain alternative treatment (AT) subsurface disposal systems. However, this legislation contained a fiscal note that was not addressed in the final Budget Package, so section 155 of the Budget bill, Public Act 07-01, (www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00001-R00HB-08001SS1-PA.htm) added the phrase "within available appropriations" to the bill. Please contact Tom Tyler or Rob Lafrance with any questions on this bill.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00231-R00HB-06768-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00231-R02HB-06768-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-242 House Bill 7432
AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTRICITY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

SUMMARY: This significant law makes a number of changes to a variety of statutes dealing with electrical generation and energy efficiency. The law creates new rebate incentive programs for the purchase of energy efficient furnaces and air conditioners, and it creates energy efficiency standards for many appliances and pieces of equipment. It expands the number of state funded building projects that must be constructed to LEED Silver standards, and provides incentives for municipal school construction to meet those standards. It increases the percentage Class I renewable power required to meet the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards. The law allows the DEP Commissioner to enter into lease agreements on state property for the production of hydropower if certain conditions are met. It requires the DEP to adopt regulations to implement the RGGI Initiative. The law creates a streamlined DEP general permitting process for distributed generation, and a pilot program for incentives to install emissions control equipment on emergency generators. It creates (and funds up to $10 million each) a natural gas conservation program, and a fuel-oil conservation program. It also restores funding "raided" from the Energy Conservation Fund and Clean Energy Fund in past years. The law also makes a number of other changes.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00242-R00HB-07432-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/BA/2007HB-07432-R01-BA.htm

Public Act 07-233 House Bill 7369
AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE BROWNFIELDS TASK FORCE

SUMMARY: This law implements many of the recommendations of the Governor’s Brownfields Task Force; it creates an Office of Brownfields Remediation and Redevelopment in the Department of Economic and Community Development and requires adoption of an MOU among a number of executive branch agencies; it creates a non-lapsing brownfield remediation and redevelopment account and contemplates funding for remediation and redevelopment pilot projects; it expands remediation and redevelopment options in flood plains for state sponsored projects; it changes certain time frames and creates time limits for the commissioner to conduct audits; it increases flexibility for covenants not to sue; and it expands the membership of the Governors Brownfield Task Force.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00233-R00HB-07369-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00233-R03HB-07369-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-239 House Bill 7090
AN ACT CONCERNING RESPONSIBLE GROWTH

SUMMARY: This law establishes a Responsible Growth Task Force; it requires the task force to (1) identify responsible growth criteria and standards and (2) study transfer of development rights laws, policies, and programs; it raises the threshold of capital projects undertaken by state agencies that must be consistent with the State Plan of Conservation and Development; it creates incentives for municipalities to amend their local plans of conservation and development every 10 years; it requires that regional plans of development that are prepared by Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs) every 10 years include a finding as to whether they are consistent with the state economic development strategic plan.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00239-R00HB-07090-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00239-R01HB-07090-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-42 Senate Bill 1223
AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN EQUINE ADVISORY COUNCIL

SUMMARY: This law establishes a six member Equine Advisory Council to advise the DEP on issues related to horse rider access to trails in the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE: May 22, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00042-R00SB-01223-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00042-R01SB-01223-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-45 Senate Bill 1358
AN ACT CONCERNING FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES

SUMMARY: This law requires DEP, when proposing new regulations to clearly identify those provisions of the regulations that differ from federal standards or procedures.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00045-R00SB-01358-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00045-R01SB-01358-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-51 House Bill 5728
AN ACT CONCERNING BONDS OF MUNICIPAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL AUTHORITIES

SUMMARY: This law allows towns to finance small (< $3 million) sewer and water system projects with "hydrid bonds that combine elements of G.O. and revenue bonds, without a referendum.
EFFECTIVE DATE: May 22, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00051-R00HB-05728-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00051-R02HB-05728-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-94 Senate Bill 1017
AN ACT CONCERNING THE EMERGENCY PLANS OF OPERATIONS OF SHORELINE COMMUNITIES AND THE DESIGNATION OF LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS HAZARD AND SECURITY ZONES

SUMMARY: This law requires state designation of a "hazard zone" around any Liquefied Natural Gas facility proposed or located in Long Island Sound. Municipalities bordering the Sound are also required to update, for DEMHS approval, their towns’ emergency management plans to take into account the presence of an LNG facility.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Sections 1 and 3, October 1, 2007. Sections 2 and 4, July 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00094-R00SB-01017-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00094-R02SB-01017-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-100 House Bill 6396
AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF CLEANING PRODUCTS IN STATE BUILDINGS

SUMMARY: This law requires that cleaning products used in state buildings meet guidelines and standards that have been established by DAS pursuant to Governor Rell’s Executive Order 14.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00100-R00HB-06396-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00100-R02HB-06396-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-131 House Bill 7275
AN ACT CONCERNING THE FACE OF CONNECTICUT

SUMMARY: This law increases the percentage caps on state grants available for municipal purchase of open space. The law also increases (from 2 to 5 %) the percentage of available funds that may be used by DEP for administrative expenses related to the program. It also contains a number of changes to the DoAG’s Farmland Preservation programs.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00131-R00HB-07275-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00131-R02HB-07275-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-133 Senate Bill 1391
AN ACT CONCERNING FEE INCREASES FOR CERTAIN VITAL RECORDS

SUMMARY: This law makes many changes to statutes dealing with town clerks and their records. The one section impacting DEP programs is the change from annual to lifetime licenses for the free sportsmen’s licenses available to blind and handicapped persons.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00133-R00SB-01391-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00133-R01SB-01391-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-168 House Bill 5234
AN ACT BANNING PESTICIDE USE ON SCHOOL GROUNDS

SUMMARY: This law expands the prohibition on applying lawn care pesticides (currently at preschools and elementary schools) to schools with students up through grade eight. The law extends, from 2008 to 2009, the exemption to the ban for pesticides applied on school grounds, if the applications are made in accordance with IPM plans. The act also makes violation of the pesticide ban enforceable by the DEP.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00168-R00HB-05234-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00168-R03HB-05234-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-154 House Bill 6856
AN ACT CONCERNING A MUNICIPAL STORMWATER AUTHORITY PILOT PROGRAM, SPECIAL SERVICES DISTRICTS, CLEAN WATER FUND DISBURSEMENTS AND THE DEFINITION OF UNIMPROVED LAND FOR TAX PURPOSES

SUMMARY: This law establishes a municipal stormwater authority pilot program with a preferred list of municipalities who qualify for the grants; it authorizes grant funding, in aggregate, not exceed one million dollars from the Clean Water Fund (to the extent that new bond funds become available); it grants the pilot project municipalities limited authority and requires them to report back to the General Assembly by February, 2008; and it clarifies section 22a-517 of the Clean Water Fund statutes regarding project grants and loans.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00154-R00HB-06856-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00154-R03HB-06856-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-179 Senate Bill 429
AN ACT CONCERNING LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FIRE RESCUE VESSELS

SUMMARY: This law creates an affirmative obligation on the operator of a boat to yield to a law enforcement or fire rescue vessel using an audible signal device and displaying appropriate flashing lights. Violations of the law are punishable by a fine of up to $200, imprisonment for up to seven days, or both.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00179-R00SB-00429-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00179-R02SB-00429-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-213 Senate Bill 1182
AN ACT CONCERNING ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, AUDITING OF LARGE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS, ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW OF CERTAIN LAND TRANSFERS, GRANT PAYMENTS TO MUNICIPALITIES, ADVERTISING ON STATE BUILDINGS AND CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

SUMMARY: This law creates a new process for state agencies that are considering selling or otherwise disposing of state property. It requires the agency to post a notice in CEQ’s Environmental Monitor before selling or transferring state land. The law also establishes a detailed process for the public to comment upon the proposal, and for OPM to respond to the comments. DEP is required to review proposals, and make recommendations to OPM regarding whether the land should be preserved by the state or other entities, or whether there should be any conditions or restrictions placed on the transfer to protect natural resources. This law makes a number of other changes to state contracting and other DPW statutes.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00213-R00SB-01182-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/BA/2007SB-01182-R01-BA.htm

Public Act 07-223 House Bill 6567
AN ACT CONCERNING AN EXEMPTION FOR ANTIQUES

SUMMARY: This law codifies the current DEP policy related to the sale and distribution of antique mercury products by specifying that if an antiques dealer certifies in writing that, the product was made before January 1, 2004, it is exempt from the prohibitions in Connecticut’s mercury law.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00223-R00HB-06567-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00223-R02HB-06567-SUM.htm

Public Act 07-244 Senate Bill 1341
AN ACT CONCERNING APPLICATION FOR A CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY, PROTECTING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE WATER SUPPLIES FROM CONTAMINATION AND AUTHORIZING THE LEASE OF CERTAIN WATER COMPANY OWNED CLASS I AND CLASS II LANDS

SUMMARY: This law changes a number of the Department of Public Health’s statutes; it amends the certificate of public convenience and necessity applicable to certain water company construction and expansion projects and contains certain exemptions for the Department of Environmental Protection; it makes changes to the permit process for replacement wells and wells on residential properties; it prohibits an owner of a private residential well that (1) currently supplies or previously supplied water to another household and (2) provides or previously provided continuous water service to that household for at least 50 years, from discontinuing the water service without an alternative, available water source; it authorizes the city of New Britain to change the use of some of its water company owned lands (Class I and II) to allow for extraction of stone or other materials from defined acreage in Plainville, through a leasing process that is part of a contract with New Britain as a party; and it requires notice to abutting property owners in certain cases of subsurface sewage disposal system (septic system) repair or new construction.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007 except for the restriction on discontinuing service by a private residential well, the subsurface sewage disposal system provision, and the New Britain water company land lease and contract provisions are effective upon passage.

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00244-R00SB-01341-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/SUM/2007SUM00244-R02SB-01341-SUM.htm

2007 Special Acts

Special Act 07-11 House Bill 7386
AN ACT CONCERNING THE CONVEYANCE OF CERTAIN PARCELS OF STATE LAND

SUMMARY: This special act directs a number of state land conveyances. Several deal with DEP properties. Sections 1 and 6 transfer very small parcels in Norwich to the town. Section 8 of the act transfers the state’s interest in the Penfield Lighthouse to the town of Fairfield. Section 16 directs that half of an 11 acres piece of DEP property in Griswold be transferred to the town for recreation fields, and finally, section 19 clarifies the details of a past land swap between DEP and the town of Voluntown.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 5, 2007

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/SA/2007SA-00011-R00HB-07386-SA.htm

Special Act 07-4 of the June Special Session Senate Bill 1500
AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF THE BUDGET CONCERNING GENERAL GOVERNMENT

SUMMARY: This law has many sections which implement various provisions of the adopted state budget. Sections 16 through 19 of the law create the Clean School Bus grant program. This will be a DEP program, funded with $10 million ($5 million in FY ‘08, and $5 million in FY ’09) to provide grants to municipalities to retrofit school buses with emissions-reducing equipment. Sections 34 and 35 of the law make a number of changes to the State Fleet Alternative Fuel requirements. It contains specific mandates for increased fuel efficiency by January 1, 2008 and then, July 1, 2012. The law also requires DEP and DAS to jointly study the issue of a potential waiver from federal requirements regarding alternative fuel acquisition requirements for state fleets, and it requires the DEP and DAS to develop plans to increase the use of ethanol and natural gas fueling stations. Section 27 of the law directs that DEP, in consultation with a number of other partners, to study land ownership issues in and around the CT Valley Hospital reservoir lands in Middletown. The approved budget provided $50,000 for this purpose.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007 for school bus sections, and June 29, 2007 for the State Fleet Fuel Efficiency and CVH land study issues.

Text of Public Act:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/ACT/PA/2007PA-00004-R00SB-01500SS1-PA.htm

Text of Summary by the Office of Legislative Research:
www.cga.ct.gov/2007/BA/2007SB-01500-R00SS1-BA.htm