Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 465

Public Act No. 02-129

AN ACT CONCERNING WASTEWATER DISCHARGES IN DRINKING WATER SUPPLY WATERSHEDS.

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

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 22a-430 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2002):

(b) The commissioner, at least thirty days before approving or denying a permit application for a discharge, shall publish once in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the affected area notice of (1) the name of the applicant; (2) the location, volume, frequency and nature of the discharge; (3) the tentative decision on the application, and (4) additional information the commissioner deems necessary to comply with the federal Clean Water Act (33 USC 1251 et seq. ). There shall be a comment period following the public notice during which period interested persons and municipalities may submit written comments. After the comment period, the commissioner shall make a final determination either that (A) such discharge would not cause pollution of any of the waters of the state, in which case he shall issue a permit for such discharge, or (B) after giving due regard to any proposed system to treat the discharge, that such discharge would cause pollution of any of the waters of the state, in which case he shall deny the application and notify the applicant of such denial and the reasons therefor, or (C) the proposed system to treat such discharge will protect the waters of the state from pollution, in which case he shall, except as provided pursuant to subsection (j) of this section, require the applicant to submit plans and specifications and such other information as he may require and shall impose such additional conditions as may be required to protect such water, and if the commissioner finds that the proposed system to treat the discharge, as described by the plans and specifications or such other information as may be required by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (j) of this section, will protect the waters of the state from pollution, he shall notify the applicant of his approval and, when such applicant has installed such system, in full compliance with the approval thereof, the commissioner shall issue a permit for such discharge, or (D) the proposed system to treat such discharge, as described by the plans and specifications, will not protect the waters of the state, in which case he shall promptly notify the applicant that its application is denied and the reasons therefor. No permit shall be issued for an alternative on-site sewage treatment system, as defined in the Public Health Code, in a drinking water supply watershed unless the commissioner determines that (i) such system is the only feasible solution to an existing pollution problem and that the proposed system capacity does not exceed the capacity of the failed on-site system, or (ii) such system is for the expansion of an existing municipal or public school project or for new construction of a municipal or public school project on an existing municipal or public school site, in a municipality in which a majority of the land is located within a drinking water supply watershed. The commissioner shall, by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, establish procedures, criteria and standards as appropriate for determining if [(i)] (I) a discharge would cause pollution to the waters of the state, and [(ii)] (II) a treatment system is adequate to protect the waters of the state from pollution. Such procedures, criteria and standards may include schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, operating and maintenance procedures, management practices and other measures to prevent or reduce pollution of the waters of the state, provided the commissioner in adopting such procedures, criteria and standards shall consider best management practices. The regulations shall specify the circumstances under which procedures, criteria and standards for activities other than treatment will be required. For the purposes of this section, "best management practices" means those practices which reduce the discharge of waste into the waters of the state and which have been determined by the commissioner to be acceptable based on, but not limited to, technical, economic and institutional feasibility. Any applicant, or in the case of a permit issued pursuant to the federal Water Pollution Control Act, any person or municipality, who is aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner where an application has not been given a public hearing shall have the right to a hearing and an appeal therefrom in the same manner as provided in sections 22a-436 and 22a-437. Any applicant, or in the case of a permit issued pursuant to the federal Water Pollution Control Act, any person or municipality, who is aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner where an application has been given a public hearing shall have the right to appeal as provided in section 22a-437. The commissioner may, by regulation, exempt certain categories, types or sizes of discharge from the requirement for notice prior to approving or denying the application if such category, type or size of discharge is not likely to cause substantial pollution. The commissioner may hold a public hearing prior to approving or denying any application if in his discretion the public interest will be best served thereby, and he shall hold a hearing upon receipt of a petition signed by at least twenty-five persons. Notice of such hearing shall be published at least thirty days before the hearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the area affected.

Approved June 7, 2002