DEEP: Coastal NPS Program & Enforcement Authority

Connecticut's Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program

Legal Certifications, Voluntary Programs, and Implementing Agency Coordination

The Attorney General of the State of Connecticut has certified that the Commissioner of the stateís Department of Energy and Environmental Protection possesses adequate regulatory authority to implement and enforce the required management measures within the management area identified pursuant to Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990.  The certifications issued by the Attorney General of the State of Connecticut apply to the management measures for confined animal facilities (both large units and small units) and for nutrient management; new development; the chemical control management measures for construction sites, roads, highways, and bridges, and dams; and the marina stormwater runoff management measure.  In addition to the regulatory programs and enforceable policies identified in the certifications, the State of Connecticut intends to use the following voluntary or incentive-based programs to encourage implementation of the management measures covered by the Attorney Generalís certifications. 

Confined Animal Facilities (both large and small units) and Nutrient Management 

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) works with the agricultural community through several coordination efforts.  DEEP works closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in their administration of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which provides cost-share funds to farmers to implement a wide range of conservation practices, and the Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program (WHIP), which funds restoration of riparian buffers and other natural wildlife habitat.

DEEP also provides financial incentives to the agricultural community through the issuance of Section 319 funds to various organizations to provide technical assistance to agricultural producers on nutrient management, agricultural waste management, integrated pest management (IPM) and integrated crop management (ICM), and erosion and sediment control.  Groups include the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System (UConn/CES), the Connecticut Council on Soil and Water Conservation (CCSWC), the Connecticut Association of Conservation Districts (CACD), and individual county soil and water conservation districts.  For example, with the help of Section 319 grants, NRCS and UConn/CES assessed about 90 farms between Fiscal Year (FY) '96 and '01 and wrote or revised about 40 agricultural waste management system plans that have been approved by DEEP.  Through FY'01, nutrient management systems are being implemented on 24 farms comprising about 10,676 acres.  Agricultural waste management plans comply with NRCS's Connecticut Field Office Technical Guide, especially with respect to waste utilization and nutrient management practices.

NRCS and UConn/CES also completed the first year of a project to develop a user-friendly computerized record-keeping system to help farmers track nutrient use on their fields.  This type of system will ultimately encourage the use of nutrient management plans.  Finally, UConn/CES initiated an IPM/ICM program targeting coastal watersheds in Fairfield and New Haven counties, with a focus on outreach and education. 

New Development 

The new development management measure contains specific standards for the removal of total suspended solids and for post-development runoff rates and volumes.  These standards are addressed through the programs and enforceable policies described in the Attorney Generalís certification.   

DEEP also developed the 2004 Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual, a stormwater BMP technical guidance document, utilizing Section 319 funds.  In 1999, an interdepartmental work group led by staff from DEEP's Inland Water Resources Division was formed to develop the manual.  In 2001, the work group completed a draft manual and hired an engineering consulting firm to complete the manual.  The comprehensive stormwater manual incorporates the total suspended solids and post-development runoff rates and volumes standards contained in the new development management measure.  Once completed, the manual was promoted through workshops conducted for municipal land use officials, state and local engineering and public works personnel, private developers, and design engineers. 

Chemical Control at Construction Sites and for Roads, Highways, and Bridges 

Chemical control activities at dams are directly regulated by DEEP and are addressed through the programs and enforceable policies described in the Attorney Generalís certifications.   

With regard to chemical control at construction sites and for roads, highways, and bridges, the Connecticut Department of Transportation has specified the following best management practices (BMPís) for onsite mitigation for all transportation projects undertaken or funded by the agency:  

  • Measures to prevent construction debris, paint or other material from entering any wetlands or watercourses are undertaken before construction can begin. These materials are to be collected and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.

  • No degradation of adjacent wetlands or watercourses from materials being placed in or near them as a result of construction activities is allowed.

  • No equipment or machinery should be refueled within 25 feet of any wetland or watercourse unless approved by the project engineer.

  • Provisions must be made for the collection, retention and proper disposal of drained oil, removed oil filters or other deleterious materials. All spills will be reported immediately to the DEEP by the contractor.

  • For pesticide and herbicide application, a proposed applicatorís name and license number must be supplied for approval. No application of pesticides or herbicides within 25 feet of a wetland or watercourse will be allowed

  • During spawning season, as defined in the contract, discharges and construction activities in spawning areas of state waters shall be restricted so as not to disturb or inhibit aquatic species which are indigenous to the waters.

Because the vast majority of road, highway, and bridge projects in Connecticut are either undertaken or funded by the DOT, these voluntary measures, in addition to permit conditions imposed by state and municipal regulatory agencies, will further ensure implementation of the chemical control measure.   

DEEP also developed the 2004 Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual, a stormwater BMP technical guidance document, utilizing Section 319 funds.  In 1999, an interdepartmental work group led by staff from DEEP's Inland Water Resources Division was formed to develop the manual.  In 2001, the work group completed a draft manual and hired an engineering consulting firm to complete the manual.  The comprehensive stormwater manual contains the practices specified in the Section 6217(g) guidance for the chemical control management measures for construction sites and for roads, highways, and bridges.  Once completed, the manual was promoted through workshops conducted for municipal land use officials, state and local engineering and public works personnel, private developers, and design engineers. 

Marina Stormwater Runoff 

DEEP has developed a Clean Marina Program in response, in part, to the condition imposed by EPA and NOAA that the marina stormwater management measure be better addressed in Connecticutís Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program.  The Clean Marina Program is a voluntary, incentive-based education and outreach campaign to encourage environmental compliance and the use of BMPís at the state's 350 coastal and inland boating facilities.  The program also includes an outreach campaign to educate the state's boaters about environmentally sensitive boating practices.  OLISP, in cooperation with DEEPís Boating Division, developed the program to address the potential threats to water quality from both inland and coastal marinas, particularly in the form of nonpoint source pollution.  OLISP and the Boating Division have developed a Clean Marina Guidebook and Clean Marina certification criteria in cooperation with an internal advisory committee and an external, industry-represented steering committee. The guidebook has been organized according to the various activities that occur at marinas rather than according to BMPs or legal requirements.  Each activity fact sheet in the guidebook contains information about the legal requirements pertaining to that activity, as well as the BMPs that can be used to improve environmental operations at marinas. 

Methods for tracking and evaluating voluntary programs:

DEEP will continue on-going efforts to track and evaluate voluntary programs to ensure implementation of the relevant management measures.  These efforts include: 

  • Ongoing water quality monitoring;

  • Updated numbers of Section 319 projects undertaken for agriculture waste management, including the acreage of farms covered by agricultural waste management plans;

  • Updated number of farms conducting EQIP and WHIP projects;

  • Updated number of farmers using new NRCS/UConn-developed computer-based nutrient tracking system;

  • Participation in IMP/ICM program;

  • Clean Marina certifications;

  • Attendance at workshops for stormwater manual;

  • Distribution of other relevant outreach materials (e.g., boater tip cards); and

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping/tracking.

Description of the mechanism or process that links the implementing agency with the enforcement agency and a Commitment to use the existing enforcement authorities where necessary 

Connecticutís Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program and Coastal Management Program are both administered in DEEP, and both programs work together to administer the coastal nonpoint source pollution control program within DEEP.  The Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse (WPLR) and the Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance (MMCA) will serve as the primary implementing, enforcement, and coordinating agencies, pursuant to the respective responsibilities outlined below: 

Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse (WPLR):

  • Adopts water quality standards and classifications for the state's surface and groundwater resources;

  • monitors and assesses the quality of water resources;

  • administers the TMDL, watershed, and lakes management programs to reduce water toxics, lake eutrophication, and hypoxia in Long Island Sound;

  • conducts NPS Program planning and coordination;

  • manages the planning, design, and construction of municipal sewage treatment facilities;

  • manages the state and federal Superfund, Property Transfer, and Potable Water programs (well contamination response);

  • administers the state Clean Water Fund (SRF); and

  • provides support functions for the other bureau divisions for necessary planning, program development, and technical and administrative assistance.

Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance:

  • Regulates, inspects, and monitors municipal and industrial wastewater discharge facilities and public and private sewage treatment systems;

  • regulates stormwater;

  • requires the abatement of point and nonpoint source pollution;

  • conducts inspections and institutes enforcement actions for violation of permits or unpermitted discharges;

  • processes permit applications for discharges to groundwater from agricultural waste management systems; updates, reviews and tracks permit compliance monitoring data; and conducts routine inspections of permitted facilities and  institutes enforcement actions.

 WPLR Inland Water Resources Division:

  • Regulates activities in the state's inland wetlands, watercourses, and flood plains, including oversight of municipal Inland Wetland Agencies;

  • enforces the state's inland wetland and floodplain protection statutes;

  • prevents or mitigates natural disasters through flood warning, emergency recovery efforts from flooding, and dam safety programs.

  • regulates diversion of water, state agency actions in wetlands and watercourses, and work within stream channel encroachment lines;

  • monitors the safety of state-owned and privately owned dams. 

  • regulates Department of Transportation and other state-sponsored construction in inland waterways and wetlands by review and issuance of construction permits;

  • tracks, for conformance with state law, regulatory actions undertaken by municipal commissions;

  • inventories and monitors diversion of surface and ground waters of the state;

  • reviews water supply plans to assure adequate supplies for future water supply use;

  • regulates operation and maintenance of dams and approves permit applications for dam repair, modification or construction;

  • regulates the study, design and repair of major State-owned dams;

  • responsible for repair and construction of state-owned dams and flood control projects; and

  • conducts inspections and institutes enforcement actions.

WPLR Office of Long Island Sound Programs:  

  • Administers the state's Coastal Management Program;

  • develops and administers, in conjunction with the WPLR Planning and Standards Division, the state Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program pursuant to section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments;

  • administers statutes related to coastal nonpoint source pollution problems, including the state's Tidal Wetlands Act and Structures, Dredging, and Fill Act;

  • implements, oversees, and enforces the state's coastal management and coastal permit laws and regulations, regulating docks, dredging, marina construction and other shoreline development;

  • manages programs to protect and restore coastal resources and habitat;

  • assists coastal towns in planning and implementing programs to protect coastal resources;

  • develops and implements plans to improve water quality in Long Island Sound and its harbors through elimination of coastal nonpoint source pollution and establishment of federally (EPA) approved No Discharge Areas for sewage from boats;

  • administer grant programs which provide funding to outside sources for Long Island Sound research and management, public access, habitat restoration, and education;

  • provides grant funds through the federal Clean Vessel Act Grant Program for the installation, operation and maintenance of boat holding tank pumpout and dump stations at public and private boating access facilities; and 

  • jointly manages Connecticut's Clean Marina Program and Clean Boater Program with DEEP's Boating Division.

Legal Opinions  |  Connecticut's Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program