CHAPTER 484
PROTECTED RIVERS

Table of Contents

Sec. 25-204. Resource inventory. Statement of objectives. Map. Notice and hearing. River corridor protection plan.

      Sec. 25-204. Resource inventory. Statement of objectives. Map. Notice and hearing. River corridor protection plan. (a) A river committee shall prepare a written inventory of all resources within the local drainage basin of the river for which the committee was established. Such resources shall include fish and wildlife; endangered and threatened species, species of special concern and essential habitat identified by the commissioner pursuant to chapter 495; tidal and inland wetlands; unique natural phenomena; scenic areas; forest lands; agricultural lands, as defined in section 22-26bb and which are identified by the Commissioner of Agriculture in an inventory which said commissioner shall provide to the committee; and archaeological and other historic resources. The inventory shall specify which such resources render the river corridor exceptionally valuable and suitable for designation. In addition, the inventory shall identify existing uses within the river corridor, including agriculture, public and private water supply, power generation, waste assimilation, residential, commercial, industrial uses, recreation and water-based transportation and other water-dependent uses, for the purpose of determining whether any such uses are compatible with protection and preservation of the river corridor's resources. In preparing the inventory a river committee shall utilize all relevant available information, including the state rivers assessment data base and wetland maps prepared pursuant to sections 22a-30 and 22a-42a.

      (b) After completing an inventory pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, a river committee shall prepare a written statement identifying those resources in the local drainage basin of the river for which the committee was established, particularly those resources which ranked high in the state rivers assessment data base, which should be protected or preserved and which degraded areas in such basin should be restored and preserved for their resource value. Such statement shall also identify any existing uses which are compatible with protection and preservation of such resources. Such statement shall be known as the river committee's statement of objectives.

      (c) After completing an inventory prepared pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and a statement of objectives prepared pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the river committee shall prepare a map consistent with such inventory, which defines the boundaries of the river corridor to be preserved under the river corridor protection plan prepared pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

      (d) Upon completion of an inventory, statement of objectives and map pursuant to subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section, the river committee shall publish in a newspaper having substantial circulation in the affected area at least thirty days' notice of a public hearing to be held in one of the municipalities represented on the committee. Such hearing shall provide an opportunity for public comment regarding such documents and the committee shall also provide for the submission of written comments to such committee regarding such documents. After considering all comments received, the river committee shall revise said documents as appropriate and submit them to the commissioner and the secretary. Within ninety days of receiving the revised documents, the commissioner shall provide written comments to the river committee and shall furnish a copy of such comments to the secretary. The secretary shall coordinate a review of the revised documents by all other relevant state agencies and regional planning organizations established pursuant to section 8-31a and, within ninety days of receiving such revised documents, shall provide written comments thereon to the river committee and shall furnish a copy of such comments to the commissioner. After considering all comments received from the commissioner and the secretary, the river committee shall adopt an inventory, statement of objectives and map and shall publish, in a newspaper having substantial circulation in the affected area, notice of the adoption of the inventory, statement of objectives and map.

      (e) After adoption pursuant to subsection (d) of this section of an inventory, statement of objectives and map, the river committee shall prepare a report on all federal, state and municipal laws, plans, programs and proposed activities which may affect the river corridor defined in such map. Such laws shall include regulations adopted pursuant to chapter 440 and zoning, subdivision and site plan regulations adopted pursuant to section 8-3. Such plans shall include plans of conservation and development adopted pursuant to section 8-23, the state plan for conservation and development, water utility supply plans adopted pursuant to section 25-32d, coordinated water system plans adopted pursuant to section 25-33h, municipal open space plans, the commissioner's fish and wildlife plans, the master transportation plan adopted pursuant to section 13b-15, plans prepared by regional planning agencies pursuant to section 8-31a, and publicly-owned wastewater treatment facility plans. State and regional agencies shall, within available resources, assist the river committee in identifying such laws, plans, programs and proposed activities. The report to be prepared pursuant to this section shall identify any conflicts between such federal, state, regional and municipal laws, plans, programs and proposed activities and the river committee's objectives for river corridor protection and preservation as reflected in the statement of objectives. If conflicts are identified, the river committee shall notify the applicable state, regional or municipal agencies and such agencies shall, within available resources, attempt with the river commission to resolve such conflicts.

      (f) (1) After adoption of an inventory, statement of objectives and map pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the river committee shall prepare a river corridor protection plan. The river committee shall publish in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the affected area at least thirty days' notice of a public hearing to be held in one of the municipalities represented on the committee. Such hearing shall provide an opportunity for public comment regarding the plan and the committee shall also provide for the submission of written comments on the plan. The committee shall send a copy of such notice to the chief elected official of each municipality located wholly or partially in the subregional drainage basin in which the subject river corridor is located and shall send such notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each person who owns property adjacent to the river segment which is the subject of the river corridor proposed for designation under section 25-205. After considering all comments received, the river committee shall revise said documents as appropriate and submit them to the commissioner and the secretary. Within ninety days of receiving the revised documents, the commissioner shall provide written comments to the river committee and shall furnish a copy of such comments to the secretary. The secretary shall coordinate a review of the revised documents by all other relevant state agencies and regional planning organizations established pursuant to section 8-31a and within ninety days of receiving such documents shall provide written comments thereon to the river commission and shall furnish a copy of such comments to the commissioner. After considering all comments received from the commissioner and the secretary, the river committee shall revise the river corridor protection plan as appropriate and shall publish in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the affected area notice of the availability of the response to comments and the revised plan.

      (2) A river corridor protection plan shall set forth a strategy for achieving the protection and preservation objectives contained in the statement of objectives adopted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section and for reconciling existing incompatible uses with resource preservation. Such plan shall make recommendations for the modification of municipal plans of conservation and development and zoning, subdivision, site plan and wetlands regulations as necessary to allow implementation of the river corridor protection plan and to assure that each member municipality similarly preserves that portion of the river corridor under its jurisdiction. Such plan shall recommend that applicable municipal regulations be modified to prohibit mining, moving of earth and dredging, other than dredging to maintain existing uses, within the river corridor. Such plan may set out guidelines for disturbing vegetation within the river corridor and identify areas where clear-cutting should be prohibited; may recommend municipal adoption of programs to minimize pollution or development of the river corridor and maximize voluntary private preservation efforts; shall consider land and water uses which may be compatible with river protection, including hydropower, agriculture, recreation and waste discharges and may recommend appropriate revisions of any state or regional plans of development or municipal plans of conservation and development or open space plans. Such plan shall include a time schedule for state and municipal implementation of such regulatory modifications and programs.

      (3) A river corridor protection plan shall include the results of an instream flow study if the commissioner deems it necessary. An instream flow study shall be conducted in accordance with the commissioner's guidance and shall document water flow in the river corridor for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient flow to allow withdrawals of water consistent with the resource protection and preservation objectives of the river corridor protection plan.

      (P.A. 94-150, S. 5; P.A. 95-335, S. 24, 26; P.A. 96-180, S. 94, 166; P.A. 03-140, S. 22; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(e); P.A. 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 07-242, S. 112.)

      History: P.A. 95-335 amended Subsecs. (e) and (f) to change "plan of development" to "plan of conservation and development", effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-180 amended Subsec. (f) to correct a statutory reference, effective June 3, 1996; P.A. 03-140 replaced "16a-35m" with "16a-7a" in Subsec. (e), effective July 1, 2003; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Agriculture with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 07-242 amended Subsec. (e) to delete reference to comprehensive energy plan adopted pursuant to Sec. 16a-7a, effective July 1, 2007.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)