Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 6551

Public Act No. 03-141

AN ACT CONCERNING EXEMPTIONS FROM THE WATER DIVERSION PERMITTING PROCESS.

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

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 22a-377 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(a) The following diversions are exempt from the provisions of sections 22a-365 to [22a-378] 22a-378a, inclusive: (1) One or more wells joined in one system whose combined maximum withdrawal will not exceed fifty thousand gallons of water during any twenty-four-hour period; (2) the maximum withdrawal of fifty thousand gallons of surface water during any twenty-four-hour period; (3) discharges permitted under the provisions of section 22a-430; (4) a storm drainage system which collects the surface water runoff of an area of less than one hundred acres; (5) water for fire emergency purposes; (6) diversions within, extensions and relocation of water supply system distribution mains; (7) roadway crossings or culverts which allow for continuous flow or passage of an existing watercourse; [and] (8) diversions directly related to routine maintenance and emergency repairs of dams; and (9) diversions by a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, that are necessary to protect the security of public water supplies, including: (A) A diversion from a back-up well where a primary well is out of service, provided (i) the back-up well is located within two hundred fifty feet of such primary well, (ii) the total quantity of water withdrawn does not result in an increase in the rate or quantity of a diversion registered or permitted by the commissioner pursuant to section 22a-368 or 22a-378a, and (iii) not later than January thirtieth of each year, the commissioner is supplied a written annual report, for the prior year, that identifies the location of each back-up well, the construction type of each back-up well, the date of installation and the daily water use from each primary well and each back-up well for those days on which the back-up well operated; or (B) a transfer of water from one distribution system to another during a water supply emergency declared pursuant to section 22a-378 or 25-32b or otherwise declared according to law, provided the transfer (i) is limited to the period during which the emergency exists, (ii) does not result in an increase in the rate or quantity of a diversion registered or permitted by the commissioner pursuant to section 22a-368 or 22a-378a, (iii) is accomplished through existing, authorized, installed capacity to transfer or through temporary equipment that is removed within thirty days after the last day of the water supply emergency, and (iv) the commissioner is notified, in writing, of any such transfer and its location within three days of the transfer and the commissioner is provided a written report of the daily transfer of water that occurred during the emergency and any other related information the commissioner may request.

Sec. 2. Subsection (d) of section 22a-378a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(d) Any general permit issued under [this] subsection (a) of this section [shall] may require that any person or municipality intending to conduct an activity covered by such general permit [shall, at least sixty days before initiating such activity,] give written notice of such intention to the inland wetlands agency, zoning commission, planning commission or combined planning and zoning commission, and conservation commission of any municipality which will or may be affected by such activity. [, and to the department which shall make such notices available to the public. ] The general permit shall specify the information which must be contained in the notice. [An inland wetlands agency, planning and zoning commission, conservation commission or any person may submit written comments to the commissioner concerning such activity no later than twenty-five days before the date that the activity is proposed to begin. ]

Sec. 3. Subsection (c) of section 25-33o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(c) The council shall, not later than January 1, 2002, and annually thereafter, 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, except that not later than February 1, 2004, the council shall report its recommendations in accordance with this subsection with regard to (1) a water allocation plan based on water budgets for each watershed, (2) funding for water budget planning, giving priority to the most highly stressed watersheds, and (3) the feasibility of merging the data collection and regulatory functions of the Department of Environmental Protection's Inland Water Resources Program and the Department of Public Health's Water Supplies Section.

Approved June 26, 2003