Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 5608

Public Act No. 04-185

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FUNDING OF MUNICIPAL CLEAN WATER PROJECTS AND THE REGISTRATION OF WATER DIVERSIONS.

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

Section 1. Subsection (c) of section 22a-478 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 03-218, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(c) The funding of an eligible water quality project shall be pursuant to a project funding agreement between the state, acting by and through the commissioner, and the municipality undertaking such project and shall be evidenced by a project fund obligation or grant account loan obligation, or both, or an interim funding obligation of such municipality issued in accordance with section 22a-479. A project funding agreement shall be in a form prescribed by the commissioner. Eligible water quality projects shall be funded as follows:

(1) A nonpoint source pollution abatement project shall receive a project grant of seventy-five per cent of the cost of the project determined to be eligible by the commissioner.

(2) A combined sewer project shall receive (A) a project grant of fifty per cent of the cost of the project, and (B) a loan for the remainder of the costs of the project, not exceeding one hundred per cent of the eligible water quality project costs.

(3) A construction contract eligible for financing awarded by a municipality on or after July 1, 1999, as a project undertaken for nitrogen removal shall receive a project grant of thirty per cent of the cost of the project associated with nitrogen removal, a twenty per cent grant for the balance of the cost of the project not related to nitrogen removal, and a loan for the remainder of the costs of the project, not exceeding one hundred per cent of the eligible water quality project costs. Nitrogen removal projects under design or construction on July 1, 1999, and projects that have been constructed but have not received permanent, clean water fund financing, on July 1, 1999, shall be eligible to receive a project grant of thirty per cent of the cost of the project associated with nitrogen removal, a twenty per cent grant for the balance of the cost of the project not related to nitrogen removal, and a loan for the remainder of the costs of the project, not exceeding one hundred per cent of the eligible water quality project costs.

(4) If supplemental federal grant funds are available for Clean Water Fund projects specifically related to the clean-up of Long Island Sound that are funded on or after July 1, 2003, a distressed municipality, as defined in section 32-9p, may receive a combination of state and federal grants in an amount not to exceed fifty per cent of the cost of the project associated with nitrogen removal, a twenty per cent grant for the balance of the cost of the project not related to nitrogen removal, and a loan for the remainder of the costs of the project, not exceeding one hundred per cent of the allowable water quality project costs.

(5) A municipality with a water pollution control project, the construction of which began on or after July 1, 2003, which has (A) a population of five thousand or less, or (B) a population of greater than five thousand which has a discrete area containing a population of less than five thousand that is not contiguous with the existing sewerage system, shall be eligible to receive a grant in the amount of twenty-five per cent of the design and construction phase of eligible project costs, and a loan for the remainder of the costs of the project, not exceeding one hundred per cent of the eligible water quality project costs.

(6) Any other eligible water quality project shall receive (A) a project grant of twenty per cent of the eligible cost, and (B) a loan for the remainder of the costs of the project, not exceeding one hundred per cent of the eligible project cost.

(7) Project agreements to fund eligible project costs with grants from the Clean Water Fund that were executed during or after the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2003, shall not be reduced according to the provisions of the regulations adopted under section 22a-482.

[(8) On or after July 1, 2006, all eligible water quality projects eligible for funding shall receive a loan of one hundred per cent of the eligible costs and shall not receive a project grant. ]

[(9)] (8) On or after July 1, 2002, eligible water quality projects that exclusively address sewer collection and conveyance system improvements may receive a loan for one hundred per cent of the eligible costs provided such project does not receive a project grant. Any such sewer collection and conveyance system improvement project shall be rated, ranked, and funded separately from other water pollution control projects and shall be considered only if it is highly consistent with the state's conservation and development plan, or is primarily needed as the most cost effective solution to an existing area-wide pollution problem and incorporates minimal capacity for growth.

[(10)] (9) All loans made in accordance with the provisions of this section for an eligible water quality project shall bear an interest rate of two per cent per annum. The commissioner may allow any project fund obligation, grant account loan obligation or interim funding obligation for an eligible water quality project to be repaid by a borrowing municipality prior to maturity without penalty.

Sec. 2. Section 22a-368a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(a) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall publish a dated notice of (1) the availability of [a form] forms for the reporting of operating data for diversions pursuant to this section, and (2) a deadline for submission of such [form] forms. Such [form] forms shall be developed [by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Commissioners of Public Health and Agriculture and the chairperson of the Public Utilities Control Authority] pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Any person or municipality maintaining a diversion that was registered in accordance with the provisions of section 22a-368 and which continues to be in use as of July 1, 2001, shall report to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection current operating data for such diversion not later than six months after the publication of notice pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and annually thereafter not later than January thirty-first. Such data shall be provided on [a form] forms developed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Commissioners of Public Health, Public Utility Control and Agriculture and the working group established pursuant to subsection (f) of this section. Such forms shall be in a format determined by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. Such data shall include [monthly data for the calendar years 1997 to 2001, inclusive, (1) for the actual frequency and actual rate] the most detailed available monitoring data collected for each subsequent calendar year, provided such data shall not be required to be detailed more frequently than daily. [of water withdrawals or discharges of such diversion if such diversion is metered, or (2) that estimates the] Engineering estimates of withdrawals or discharges may be permitted in the absence of a meter. A person or municipality maintaining a diversion exclusively for agricultural purposes may report estimated water use for the reporting period. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to an owner or operator of an existing electric generating facility utilizing fossil fuel, provided the diversion is used to comply with state and federal environmental laws, and further provided such owner or operator reports to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection an estimate of future water use necessary to comply with state and federal environmental laws.

(c) Any person or municipality maintaining a diversion that was eligible for registration in accordance with section 22a-368 but failed to so register, which diversion continues to be in use as of July 1, 2001, shall report to the commissioner the operating data for such diversion not later than six months after the publication of notice pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Such data shall be provided on a form developed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Commissioners of Public Health, Public Utility Control and Agriculture. Such data shall include (1) the location, capacity, frequency and rate of withdrawals or discharges of such diversion as of July 1, 1982, (2) a description of the water use and water system on or before July 1, 1982, including information to evidence its operation at that time, and (3) the monthly data for the calendar years 1997 to 2001, inclusive, (A) for the actual frequency and actual rate of water withdrawals or discharges of such diversion if such diversion is metered, or (B) that estimates the withdrawals or discharges in the absence of a meter. A person or municipality maintaining a diversion exclusively for agricultural purposes may report estimated water use for the reporting period in subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(d) Any person or municipality maintaining a diversion that was not eligible for registration in accordance with section 22a-368 and is not currently authorized by permit issued by the commissioner pursuant to said section, which diversion is in use as of July 1, 2001, shall report to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection operating data for the diversion not later than six months after the publication of notice pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Such data shall be provided on a form developed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Commissioners of Public Health, Public Utility Control and Agriculture. Such data shall include (1) information as to when the diversion was initiated, (2) a description of the water use and water system operation, and (3) the monthly data for the calendar years 1997 to 2001, inclusive, (A) for the location, capacity, actual frequency and actual rate of water withdrawals or discharges of said diversion if such diversion is metered, or (B) that estimates the withdrawals or discharges in the absence of a meter. A person or municipality maintaining a diversion used exclusively for agricultural purposes may report estimated water use for the reporting period in subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(e) Information reported by a person or municipality for the purposes of subsection (c) or (d) of this section shall not be used by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to order the payment of civil penalties pursuant to section 22a-6b and subsection (b) of section 22a-376 provided the person or municipality has filed a permit application pursuant to section 22a-368 on or before July 1, 2003. This subsection shall not apply to any information the commissioner can document independent of a submission pursuant to this section. Failure to report the information required in this section may result in civil penalties in accordance with section 22a-6b and subsection (b) of section 22a-376.

(f) The Water Planning Council shall appoint at least five persons who are required to register diversions pursuant to this section to a working group for the purpose of developing forms pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. Such members shall serve at the pleasure of the council.

Approved June 1, 2004