CHAPTER 474
POLLUTION

Table of Contents

Sec. 25-33k. Abandonment of source of water supply. Definition. Application and notification to municipalities. Basis for commissioner's decision.
Sec. 25-33o. Water Planning Council: Composition, duties, advisory group, report.
Sec. 25-33p. Annual report on Water Planning Council.

PART III
WATER SUPPLIES

      Sec. 25-33k. Abandonment of source of water supply. Definition. Application and notification to municipalities. Basis for commissioner's decision. (a) For purposes of this section, "safe yield" means the maximum dependable quantity of water per unit of time that may flow or be pumped continuously from a source of supply during a critical dry period without consideration of available water limitations.

      (b) No source of water supply shall be abandoned by a water company or other entity without a permit from the Commissioner of Public Health. A water company or other entity shall apply for such permit in the manner prescribed by the commissioner. Not later than thirty days before filing an application for such permit, the applicant shall notify the chief elected official of any municipality in which such source of supply is located. Not later than sixty days after receipt of such notification the municipality or municipalities receiving such notice and any water company as defined in section 25-32a may submit comments on such application to the commissioner. The commissioner shall take such comments into consideration when reviewing the application.

      (c) (1) In the commissioner's decision, the commissioner shall consider the water supply needs of the water company, the state and any comments submitted pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and shall consult with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the Department of Public Utility Control.

      (2) The Commissioner of Public Health shall grant a permit upon a finding that any groundwater source with a safe yield of less than 0.75 millions of gallons per day, any reservoir with a safe yield of less than 0.75 millions of gallons per day, any reservoir system with a safe yield of less than 0.75 millions of gallons per day, or any individual source within a reservoir system when such system has a safe yield of less than 0.75 millions of gallons per day will not be needed by such water company for present or future water supply and, in the case of a water company required to file a water supply plan under section 25-32d, that such abandonment is consistent with a water supply plan filed and approved pursuant to said section. No permit shall be granted if the commissioner determines that the source would be necessary for water supply by the company owning such source in an emergency or the proposed abandonment would impair the ability of such company to provide a pure, adequate and reliable water supply for present and projected future customers. As used in this section, a future source of water supply shall be considered to be any source of water supply necessary to serve areas reasonably expected to require service by the water company owning such source for a period of not more than fifty years after the date of the application for a permit under this section.

      (3) The Commissioner of Public Health shall grant a permit upon a finding that any groundwater source with a safe yield of more than 0.75 millions of gallons per day, any reservoir with a safe yield of more than 0.75 millions of gallons per day, any reservoir system with a safe yield of more than 0.75 millions of gallons per day, or any individual source within a reservoir system when such system has a safe yield of more than 0.75 millions of gallons per day is of a size or condition that makes it unsuitable for present or future use as a drinking water supply by the water company, other entity or the state. In making a decision, the commissioner shall consider the general utility of the source and the viability for use to meet water supply needs. The commissioner shall consider any public water supply plans filed and approved pursuant to sections 25-32d and 25-33h, and any other water system plan approved by the commissioner, and the efficient and effective development of public water supply in the state. In assessing the general utility of the source, the commissioner shall consider factors including, but not limited to, (A) the safe yield of the source, (B) the location of the source relative to other public water supply systems, (C) the water quality of the source and the potential for treatment, (D) water quality compatibility between systems and interconnections, (E) extent of water company-owned lands for source protection of the supply, (F) types of land uses and land use controls in the aquifer protection area or watershed and their potential impact on water quality of the source, and (G) physical limitations to water service, system hydraulics and topography.

      (P.A. 85-336, S. 2, 6; P.A. 93-381, S. 9. 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 98-157, S. 12, 15; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2, S. 44; P.A. 07-217, S. 119.)

      History: P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 98-157 added provision requiring consideration of potential impairment of present and future water supply for granting permit to abandon a source, effective July 1, 1998; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-2 divided existing provisions into Subsecs. (b), (c)(1) and (c)(2), added Subsec. (a) defining "safe yield", added provisions in Subsec. (b) re procedure for permit and notification to municipality, amended Subsec. (c)(1) by adding requirement for commissioner to consider water supply needs of state and comments received from municipalities, amended Subsec. (c)(2) to provide basis for commissioner's decision on application for abandonment of smaller sources of water supply, added Subsec. (c)(3) re basis for commissioner's decision on application for abandonment of larger sources of water supply, and made conforming and technical changes; P.A. 07-217 made technical changes in Subsec. (c)(3), effective July 12, 2007.

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      Sec. 25-33o. Water Planning Council: Composition, duties, advisory group, report. (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. On or after July 1, 2007, and each year thereafter, the chairperson of the Water Planning Council shall be elected by the members of the Water Planning 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. Such study shall be conducted on both a regional and state-wide level.

      (c) The council may establish an advisory group that shall serve at the pleasure of the council. The advisory group shall be balanced between consumptive and nonconsumptive interests. The advisory group may include representatives of (1) regional and municipal water utilities, (2) investor-owned water utilities, (3) a wastewater system, (4) agricultural interests, (5) electric power generation interests, (6) business and industry interests, (7) environmental land protection interests, (8) environmental river protection interests, (9) boating interests, (10) fisheries interests, (11) recreational interests, (12) endangered species protection interests, and (13) members of academia with expertise in stream flow, public health and ecology.

      (d) 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.

      (P.A. 01-177; P.A. 02-76, S. 4; P.A. 03-141, S. 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-4, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 02-76 amended Subsec. (c) to add "and annually thereafter" and to delete provisions re final report and termination of council, effective June 3, 2002; P.A. 03-141 amended Subsec. (c) to add requirement for the council to report its recommendations on certain issues not later than February 1, 2004, effective July 1, 2003; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-4 amended Subsec. (a) to delete requirement that Department of Public Utility Control convene the first meeting and to require council to elect the chairperson, added new Subsec. (c) re advisory group and redesignated the existing Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (d), effective July 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 25-33p. Annual report on Water Planning Council. (a) The Office of Policy and Management shall conduct a study to:

      (1) Review and prioritize the recommendations and the goals of the Water Planning Council developed prior to October 1, 2007;

      (2) Compile information from other reports or studies regarding water resources planning in the state;

      (3) Establish a mechanism to perform an in-depth analysis of existing statutes and regulations of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Public Utility Control for areas of overlapping and conflicting or inefficient procedures;

      (4) Review and summarize other states' regulatory programs and structures, relating to water resource planning, including, but not limited to, their approaches to water allocation;

      (5) Identify processes and funding needs for the evaluation of existing water diversion data and approaches to basin planning projects and coordinate water data collection from, and analysis among, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Utility Control, the Office of Policy and Management and the United States Geological Survey, and recommend supplemental data collection, as appropriate;

      (6) Evaluate existing water conservation programs and make recommendations to enhance water conservation programs to promote a water conservation ethic and to provide for appropriate drought response and enforcement capabilities; and

      (7) Identify funding requirements and mechanisms for ongoing efforts in water resources planning in the state.

      (b) The Office of Policy and Management shall transfer sufficient funds, as determined by said office, to the Department of Environmental Protection for data collection and analysis conducted by said department for the purposes of this section.

      (c) Not later than February 1, 2008, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on its findings pursuant to the study in subsection (a) of this section, along with any recommended legislative revisions, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public utilities and appropriations and to the Water Planning Council.

      (June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-4, S. 3.)

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