Substitute Senate Bill No. 1319

Public Act No. 01-177

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A WATER PLANNING COUNCIL.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

(NEW) (a) The chairperson of the Public Utility Control Authority, or the chairperson's designee, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or the commissioner's designee, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, and the Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner's designee, shall constitute a Water Planning Council to address issues involving the water companies, water resources and state policies regarding the future of the state's drinking water supply. The chairperson of the Public Utility Control Authority shall convene the first meeting of the council.

(b) The Water Planning Council shall conduct a study, in consultation with representatives of water companies, municipalities, agricultural groups, environmental groups and other water users, that shall include the following issues: (1) The financial viability, market structure, reliability of customer service and managerial competence of water companies; (2) fair and reasonable water rates; (3) protection and appropriate allocation of the state's water resources while providing for public water supply needs; (4) the adequacy and quality of the state's drinking water supplies to meet current and future needs; (5) an inventory of land and land use by water companies; (6) the status of current withdrawals, projected withdrawals, river flows and the future needs of water users; (7) methods for measurement and estimations of natural flows in Connecticut waterways in order to determine standards for stream flows that will protect the ecology of the state's rivers and streams; (8) the status of river flows and available data for measuring river flows; (9) the streamlining of the water diversion permit process; (10) coordination between the Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Health and Public Utility Control in review of applications for water diversion; and (11) the procedure for coordination of planning of public water supply systems established in sections 25-33c to 25-33j, inclusive, of the general statutes. Such study shall be conducted on both a regional and state-wide level.

(c) The council shall, not later than January 1, 2002, report its preliminary findings and any proposed legislative changes to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health, the environment and public utilities in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes. The council shall, not later than January 1, 2003, report its final findings and any proposed legislative changes to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health, the environment and public utilities in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes. The council shall terminate on the date that it submits its final report or January 1, 2003, whichever is earlier.

Approved July 6, 2001