DEEP: Outline of Aquifer Protection Regulations

Summary and Outline of the
Aquifer Protection Land Use Regulation


Summary - Section 22a-354i-1 through 10. (Revised February, 2004)

The Aquifer Protection Land Use Regulation applies only to regulated activities located within the level A mapping boundary of a protected aquifer. Aquifer protection areas are designated around well fields in stratified drift used by water systems serving over 1000 people. The protected area encompasses the area of contribution and recharge area of the well field.

This regulation (1) establishes a procedure for municipal adoption of aquifer protection area boundaries; (2) identifies regulated activities, which are prohibited in aquifer protection areas unless they are registered or permitted; (3) establishes an exemption process for regulated activities using hazardous materials which, if released, do not pose a threat to the drinking water supply; (4) establishes a registration process for existing regulated activities which allows for transfer of a registration, (5) establishes a permit process that allows a registered regulated activity to add a new regulated activity if certain requirements are met; and (6) establishes best management practices for registered and permitted regulated activities.

Regulated activities are defined in section 22a-354i-1 of the regulation. In general, regulated activities include businesses that use hazardous materials such as RCRA hazardous wastes, hazardous substances regulated under CERCLA, pesticides, and petroleum products. Examples of regulated activities include some manufacturing industries, chemical wholesale storage industries, gasoline stations, auto and engine service stations, dry cleaners, and furniture strippers. Installation of new underground storage tanks for storage or transmission of oil or petroleum or hazardous materials is prohibited, with allowances for replacement of existing tanks.

Please Note: (i) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection is required to prepare a Model Municipal Ordinance that may be used by municipal aquifer protection agencies in adopting regulations. The model ordinance will contain the regulation as well as administrative procedures. (ii) Under section 22a-354p of the CT General Statutes, the Commissioner will be the regulating authority for registration and permits for regulated activities conducted by other state agencies, any person the Commissioner has issued an individual NPDES permit, SPDES permit, RCRA TSDF permit, or any public service company or Large Quantity Generator, and the Municipal Aquifer Protection Agency will be the regulating authority for all regulated activities. (iii) Municipal Aquifer Protection Agencies are authorized by section 22a-354(e) of the General Statutes to require filing fees to be deposited with the agency. The amount of the fee shall be sufficient to cover the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting on applications and petitions, including, but not limited to, the costs of certified mailings, publications of notices and decisions, and monitoring compliance with permit conditions and regulations.

Special Note: The land use regulation is just one part of the whole Aquifer Protection Act in the General Statutes. Sections 22a-354a through 22a354bb of the General Statutes include, among other things, procedures for municipal administration including creation of an agency, adoption of local regulations, appeals, and penalties. Also included are well field mapping requirements, strategic monitoring requirements for aquifer protection areas, a requirement to inventory agricultural activities in aquifer protection areas and regulate those agricultural activities.

Outline - Section 22a-354i-1 through 10. (Revised February, 2004)

Section 22a-354i-1. Definitions

This section contains the legal definitions used in the regulation. These definitions should be studied carefully since they are a precise statement of the meaning of words and phrases in the regulation. Some particularly important definitions include: aquifer protection area, facility, hazardous material, level A mapping boundary, registered regulated activity, and regulated activity.

Section 22a-354i-2. Delineation of Aquifer Protection Area Boundaries

Requires the municipality to delineate the boundaries of all aquifer protection areas on their municipal zoning maps, or inland wetland maps in the instance when a zoning map is not available, within 120 days of being notified by the Commissioner that a Level A mapping boundary is located in their town.

Section 22a-354i-3. Adoption of Municipal Regulations; Commissionerís Approval.

Requires a municipality to adopt an aquifer protection regulation within 6 months of notification from the Commissioner that a Level A mapping boundary is located in the town. The municipal regulation must be approved by the Commissioner. If the Commissioner disapproves the regulation, the municipality is given 90 days to adopt and submit a revision. If a municipality wishes to amend a regulation they must get approval from the Commissioner.

Section 22a-354i-4. Extension of aquifer protection area boundaries for Administrative Purposes; Approval

Provides an opportunity for a Municipal Aquifer Protection Agency to request an extension of aquifer protection area boundaries to coincide with the nearest property line or topographic feature to simplify administration of the program. These extensions can not be made without the written approval of the Commissioner. Municipalities then have 60 days after receiving notice from the Commissioner to delineate such an extension on their mapping.

Section 22a-354i-5. Prohibited and Regulated Activities

This section establishes that regulated activities are prohibited in aquifer protection areas unless registered or permitted, and identifies threshold volumes and some minor activities that are excluded from regulation, such as activities conducted at a residence without compensation, and certain activities using only lubricating oils.

Section 22a-354i-6. Application for an Exemption from Prohibition or Regulation

Provides criteria for applicants to apply for an exemption from prohibition or regulation. Applicants for the exemption must demonstrate to the Commissioner that any hazardous material released into the ground from the facility or business would not render the ground water un-suitable for drinking without treatment. A period of 60 days is provided for the municipal agency, any affected water company, or the Department of Public Health to submit written comments on the application for an exemption. The Commissioner will consider the comments and provide a written reason for rejecting any of the comments submitted.

Section 22a-354i-7. Registration of Existing Regulated Activities

Requires existing regulated activities to submit a registration to the Municipal Aquifer Protection Agency and the Commissioner within 180 days after the adoption of a municipal aquifer protection ordinance. The registration will be processed by the Commissioner or Municipal Agency, as appropriate: Registrations for regulated activities conducted by other state agencies, any person the Commissioner has issued an individual NPDES permit, SPDES permit, RCRA TSDF permit, or any public service company or Large Quantity Generator shall be processed by the Commissioner. Registrations for all other regulated activities will be processed by the Municipal Aquifer Protection Agency. The registration form will request basic information regarding the name and location of the facility, the regulated activities conducted at the facility, and a certification that the regulated activities are conducted in accordance with specified best management practices. The Commissioner or the municipal aquifer protection agency may reject incomplete registrations. If the registration is rejected, the registrant will be notified of what additional information is needed and the date of re-submission. The registration for an existing regulated activity may be transferred to a new owner who intends to continue the existing regulated activity. Registrations must be renewed every five years.

Section 22a-354i-8. Permits Requirements

A permit is required to add a regulated activity to a facility where a registered regulated activity occurs. The information requirements, permit process, criteria for issuing a permit, and provisions of the permit are detailed in section 8. Permits are issued for a ten year period, after which time they must be renewed. Provisions are included for modifying and transferring a permit.

Section 22a-354i-9. Best Management Practices for Regulated Activities

Basic best management practices for registered and permitted regulated activities are detailed in section 9. These include the following: Specifications for storage of hazardous materials (which are consistent with environmental regulations already in place for the storage of hazardous materials); a prohibition on installation of new underground storage tanks for hazardous materials (although an allowance is made for replacing existing underground storage tanks with a larger tank under certain conditions); a conditional prohibition on wastewater infiltration devices; and a requirement to develop, implement and maintain a materials management plan. A storm water management plan may be required for registered regulated activities at the discretion of the regulating authority (section 7(d)), and must be developed as part of any permit application (section 8(c)).

Section 22a-354i-10. Other state, federal and local laws.

Section 10 states that these land use regulations do not relieve any person of any other obligations under federal, state, or local law.

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Content last updated on January 2, 2007.