CHAPTER 451a
FOREST PRACTICES

Table of Contents

Sec. 23-65f. Definitions.
Sec. 23-65g. Forest Practices Advisory Board. Membership. Powers and duties.
Sec. 23-65h. Forest practitioner certification. Classifications and requirements. Regulations.
Sec. 23-65i. Forest practice activities. Reports.
Sec. 23-65j. Forest practices. Regulations. Fees.
Sec. 23-65k. Municipal regulation of forest practices.
Sec. 23-65l. Orders.
Sec. 23-65m. Injunctions.
Sec. 23-65n. Civil penalties.
Sec. 23-65o. Denial, suspension or revocation of forest practitioner certification.
Sec. 23-65p. Revocation and reinstatement of municipal authority.
Sec. 23-65q. Appeal of municipal action re forest practices.

      Sec. 23-65f. Definitions. As used in sections 23-65g to 23-65o, inclusive:

      (1) "Commercial forest practices" means any forest practices performed by a person other than the owner of the subject forest land for remuneration, or which, when performed, yield commercial forest products;

      (2) "Commercial forest products" means wood products harvested from a tract of forest land in excess of fifty cords or one hundred fifty tons or twenty-five thousand board feet, whichever measure is appropriate, in any twelve-month period;

      (3) "Commercial forest practitioner" means any person who engages in commercial forest practices;

      (4) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Environmental Protection;

      (5) "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection;

      (6) "Forest land" means that portion of a parcel of land which constitutes a total of at least one contiguous acre on which there is no structure, maintained landscape area, accessway or other improvement and which is (A) occupied in random distribution by trees having a minimum diameter of three inches as measured from a point on the trunk which is four and one-half feet above the ground such trees comprising at least seven and one-half square feet of basal area and the crowns of such trees occupying no less than fifteen per cent of the total area; or (B) which is planted with at least five hundred trees per acre and is not maintained for Christmas tree or nursery stock production;

      (7) "Forest practice" means any activity which may alter the physical or vegetative characteristics of any forest land which is undertaken in connection with the harvest of commercial forest products unless such harvest is undertaken pursuant to the conversion of forest land to other uses and such conversion has been approved by (A) the planning commission, zoning commission, or combined planning and zoning commission, and (B) if the forest land includes any wetland or if the municipality within which the land is located regulates forest practices under section 23-65k, the inland wetlands agency of the municipality;

      (8) "Forest practitioner" means any person who engages in forest practices;

      (9) "Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, company, organization or legal entity of any kind, including any political subdivision of the state and including any state agency;

      (10) "Tree" means a woody perennial plant usually having one self-supporting stem or trunk which has a definitely formed crown and is normally expected to attain a mature height of over twenty feet.

      (P.A. 86-257, S. 1, 6; P.A. 91-335, S. 1; P.A. 95-79, S. 103, 189; P.A. 98-228, S. 7; P.A. 99-225, S. 17, 33.)

      History: P.A. 91-335 entirely replaced section with new definitions re forest practices; P.A. 95-79 redefined "person" to include a limited liability company, effective May 31, 1995; P.A. 98-228 amended Subdiv. (7) to exclude from the definition of "forest practices" certain approved activities undertaken to convert forest land; P.A. 99-225 amended Subdiv. (7) to clarify when approval of an inland wetlands agency is required to exempt certain activities from the definition of "forest practices", effective June 29, 1999 (Revisor's note: In 2001 the word "inclusive" and the preceding comma were inserted following the reference to Sec. 23-65o in the introductory clause to correct an omission in the codification of P.A. 91-335).

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      Sec. 23-65g. Forest Practices Advisory Board. Membership. Powers and duties. (a) There is established a Forest Practices Advisory Board consisting of the State Forester or his designee, and nine public members, six of whom shall be appointed one each by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader of the Senate, the minority leader of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House of Representatives and three of whom shall be appointed by the Governor. The members appointed shall include a professional forester in private practice, a representative of the forest products industry, an officer of an environmental organization headquartered within the state which is concerned primarily with forests, a professor of forestry or natural resources from a college or university within the state, an owner of not less than ten nor more than two hundred fifty acres of forest land, a representative of an environmental organization not primarily concerned with forests and a member of an inland wetlands agency.

      (b) The appointed members of the initial board shall be appointed so that the terms of two members shall expire on December 31, 1993, the terms of two members shall expire on December 31, 1994, the terms of two members shall expire on December 31, 1995, and the term of one member shall expire on December 31, 1996. Thereafter, each member shall be appointed for a term of four years. Vacancies on the board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments. Each member of the board shall serve until his successor is appointed.

      (c) The State Forester or his designee shall serve as chairman of the board. The board shall meet at least three times, annually, at such time and place as shall be designated by the chairman, or upon the written request of a majority of the members of the board. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The principal office of the board shall be the State Forester's office.

      (d) Members of the board shall be entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

      (e) The Forest Practices Advisory Board shall have the following powers and duties:

      (1) To periodically review applicable regulations concerning forest practices or the certification of forest practitioners and to issue recommendations to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for changes to such regulations;

      (2) To periodically review the programs and policies of the department regarding forests, forest health and forest practices and to issue recommendations to the commissioner for changes to such programs and policies; and

      (3) To provide advice and guidance to the commissioner regarding the certification of technically proficient forest practitioners and the revocation or suspension of such certification.

      (P.A. 86-257, S. 2, 6; P.A. 91-335, S. 2; P.A. 93-223.)

      History: P.A. 91-335 entirely replaced former provisions re logger registration board with provisions concerning forest practices advisory board; P.A. 93-223 added two gubernatorial appointments to the board and specified that one member represent an environmental organization not primarily concerned with forests and that one be a member of an inland wetlands agency.

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      Sec. 23-65h. Forest practitioner certification. Classifications and requirements. Regulations. (a) On or after July 1, 1992, no person shall advertise, solicit, contract or engage in commercial forest practices within this state at any time without a certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of this section, appropriate to the forest practices advertised, solicited, contracted or engaged in except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

      (b) There shall be three classifications for commercial forest practitioners: Forester, supervising forest products harvester and forest products harvester. Forester certification shall be required for commercial forest practitioners who supervise or engage in the planning and design of forest practices, including but not limited to, commercial forest product harvest operations, or act as a property owner's agent in the sale of commercial forest products. A certified forester may also execute contracts or agreements, written or verbal, for the purchase of commercial forest products, act in the buyers behalf in the supervision of commercial forest product harvest operations and engage in the execution of commercial forest product harvest operations. Supervising forest products harvester certification shall be required for commercial forest practitioners who execute contracts or agreements, written or verbal, for the purchase of commercial forest products or who act in the buyer's behalf in the supervision of commercial forest product harvest operations. A certified supervising forest products harvester may also engage in the execution of commercial forest product harvest operations. Forest products harvester certification shall be required for commercial forest practitioners who engage in the execution of commercial forest product harvest operations, provided no such certification shall be required for persons engaging in the execution of commercial forest practices under the direct, on-site supervision of a certified forest product harvester. No forest product harvester certified under this section shall engage in the on-site supervision of more than two noncertified persons executing commercial forest practices.

      (c) An application for the certification as a forest practitioner shall be made to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and shall contain such information regarding the applicant's qualifications and proposed operations and other relevant matters as the commissioner deems necessary.

      (1) The commissioner shall require the applicant for forester certification to demonstrate, upon examination, that he possesses adequate knowledge concerning the proper application of forest management techniques, the ecological and environmental consequences of harvesting activity and mitigating measures to be employed to minimize possible adverse impacts on environmental conditions within the harvest area.

      (2) The commissioner shall require the applicant for supervising forest products harvester certification to demonstrate, upon examination, that he possesses adequate knowledge concerning techniques and procedures normally employed in the conduct and supervision of a harvest operation, the safe and environmentally responsible operation of harvesting equipment, and mitigating measures to be employed to minimize possible adverse impacts of harvesting activity on environmental conditions within the harvest area.

      (3) The commissioner shall require the applicant for forest products harvester certification to demonstrate, upon examination, that he possesses adequate knowledge concerning techniques and procedures normally employed in the conduct of a harvest operation and the safe and environmentally responsible operation of harvesting equipment, except that an applicant who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commissioner that he has engaged in commercial forest practices at least once per year for the ten years immediately preceding October 1, 1991, shall be exempt from such examination requirement.

      (4) If the commissioner finds that the applicant is competent with respect to the required qualifications, including those provided in section 23-65o, he shall certify the applicant to perform such forest practices as appropriate to the requested certification. The certification shall be valid for a period not to exceed five years and may be renewed by the commissioner with or without further examination. The commissioner may establish regulations for forest practitioner certification so that one-fifth of the certificates expire each year. The commissioner may certify a forest practitioner for less than five years and prorate the registration fee accordingly to implement the regulations established pursuant to this subsection.

      (5) If the commissioner finds that the applicant is not competent with respect to the requirements for the requested certification, the commissioner shall refuse to issue the applicant a certificate. The commissioner shall inform the applicant of the refusal in writing, giving the reasons for such refusal. Any person aggrieved by such refusal may, within thirty days from date of issuance of such denial, request a hearing before the commissioner, which hearing shall be conducted in accordance with chapter 54.

      (6) The commissioner may certify without examination any person who is certified in another state under a law which provides substantially similar qualifications for certification and which grants similar privileges of certification without examination to residents of this state certified under the provisions of this section.

      (7) The commissioner may, by regulation, adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, prescribe fees for applicants to defray the cost of administering examinations and carrying out the provisions of this chapter. A state or municipal employee who engages in activities for which certification is required by this section solely as part of his employment shall be exempt from payment of a fee. Any certificate issued to a state or municipal employee for which a fee has not been paid shall be void upon termination of such government employment.

      (8) The commissioner may require the display of a decal or other evidence, indicating that a commercial forest practitioner has met the requirements of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, in a prominent place on any licensed motor vehicle used in the practitioner's operations. A fee may be charged to the certified practitioner to cover the cost of the decal or other evidence.

      (9) The commissioner shall require all forest practitioners certified under sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, to participate biennially in a relevant program of professional education to improve or maintain professional forestry skills that is sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection, the New England Society of American Foresters, The University of Connecticut, Yale University or the Connecticut cooperative extension system, or participation in another program approved by the department.

      (P.A. 86-257, S. 3, 6; P.A. 91-335, S. 3; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 470.)

      History: P.A. 86-257, S. 3 effective August 26, 1988, upon the adoption of regulations pursuant to Sec. 23-65g; P.A. 91-335 entirely replaced provisions re logger registration board with provisions concerning forest practitioner certification; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (c)(7) to delete provision requiring fees to be deposited in the Environmental Conservation Fund.

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      Sec. 23-65i. Forest practice activities. Reports. (a) Each certified forester, except any state employee who engages in activities regulated by sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, solely as part of his employment, shall submit an annual report to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection on or before June first of each year in a form prescribed by the commissioner. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

      (1) The number of forest management plans completed and acres covered by said plans;

      (2) The number and type of timber stand improvements completed and acres so improved;

      (3) The number of acres planted in reforestation, afforestation and in Christmas tree plantations;

      (4) The number of commercial forest product sales, the total number of acres harvested in such sales, the type and total volumes of products generated by such sales and total annual expenditure for the purchase of such sales;

      (5) Evidence of biennial participation in a relevant program of professional education to improve or maintain professional forestry skills that is sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection, the New England Society of American Foresters, The University of Connecticut, Yale University or the Connecticut cooperative extension system, or participation in another program approved by the department; and

      (6) Other information which the commissioner deems necessary.

      (b) Each certified supervising forest products harvester shall be required to submit an annual report to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection on or before June first of each year in a form prescribed by the commissioner. Such reports shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

      (1) The number of commercial forest product sales harvested, and the type and total volumes of products generated by such sales;

      (2) Evidence of biennial participation in a relevant program of professional education to improve or maintain forest products harvesting skills that is sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection, the New England Society of American Foresters, the University of Connecticut, Yale University, the Connecticut cooperative extension system or is otherwise approved by the department; and

      (3) Other information which the commissioner deems necessary.

      (c) All certified forest products harvesters shall be required to submit to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection on or before June first of each year annual reports in a form prescribed by the commissioner. Said reports shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

      (1) Evidence of biennial participation in a relevant program of professional education to improve or maintain forest products harvesting skills that is sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection, the New England Society of American Foresters, The University of Connecticut, Yale University, the Connecticut cooperative extension system or is otherwise approved by the department; and

      (2) Other information the commissioner deems necessary.

      (P.A. 86-257, S. 4, 6; P.A. 91-335, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 86-257, S. 4 effective July 1, 1987; P.A. 91-335 entirely replaced section with provisions concerning forest practices and related reporting requirements.

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      Sec. 23-65j. Forest practices. Regulations. Fees. (a) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, governing the conduct of forest practices including, but not limited to, the harvest of commercial forest products and other such matters as the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the provisions of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive. Notice of intent to adopt such regulations shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the chief elected official of each municipality concurrent with publication in the Connecticut Law Journal. Such regulations shall provide for a comprehensive state-wide system of laws and forest practices regulations which will achieve the following purposes and policies: (1) Afford protection to and improvement of air and water quality; (2) afford protection to forests from fire, insects, disease and other damaging agents; (3) afford protection to and promote the recovery of threatened and endangered species regulated pursuant to chapter 495; (4) encourage the harvesting of forest products in ways which result in no net loss of site productivity and which respect aesthetic values; (5) assure that forest practices are conducted in a safe manner; (6) provide a continuing supply of forest products from a healthy, vigorous forest resource; (7) promote the sound, professionally guided, long-term management of forested lands and forest resources, considering both the goals of ownership held by the forest owner and the public interest; (8) encourage the retention of healthy forest vegetation whenever possible as forested lands are converted to nonforest uses or developed for recreational, residential or industrial purposes; (9) provide the Commissioner of Environmental Protection with essential data on pressures and influences on forest resources, state-wide and on the rate of loss of forested lands. Prior to adopting such regulations, the commissioner shall prepare a report assessing the costs to the regulated entities, the benefits to the state and the environmental impacts of adopting such regulations. Such regulations may include, but not be limited to: (A) Minimum standards for forest practices; (B) establishment of a process by which harvests of commercial forest products from lands other than state-owned lands managed by the department shall be authorized; and (C) necessary administrative provisions.

      (b) The commissioner may by regulation prescribe fees for the authorization of harvests of commercial forest products from lands other than state-owned lands managed by the department. The fees collected in accordance with this section shall be deposited directly in the General Fund.

      (P.A. 86-257, S. 5, 6; P.A. 91-335, S. 5; P.A. 99-225, S. 25, 33; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 438.)

      History: P.A. 86-257, S. 5 effective July 1, 1987; P.A. 91-335 entirely replaced section with provisions concerning forest practices and related regulations; P.A. 99-225 amended Subsec. (a) to provide for a report re costs and benefits of adopting regulations under this section, effective June 29, 1999; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (b) to substitute General Fund for Environmental Conservation Fund.

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      Sec. 23-65k. Municipal regulation of forest practices. (a) Any of the towns of Berlin, Brookfield, Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, Essex, Glastonbury, Granby, Haddam, Kent, Lyme, Newtown, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Redding, Stafford, Somers, Warren, Washington or Willington may, acting through its legislative body, authorize its inland wetlands agency, as defined in section 22a-38, to adopt such regulations, consistent with the regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 23-65j, as are necessary to protect the forest land within its jurisdiction, except for state-owned forest land managed by the Department of Environmental Protection. For purposes of this section, the inland wetlands agency shall serve as the sole municipal agent for regulation of forest practices. Any municipality named in this subsection shall have one year from the effective date of regulations adopted by the commissioner for the regulation of forest practices to comply with the terms of this section. No municipality which regulates forest practices pursuant to the authority of this section shall reject any application without having such rejection reviewed by a forester certified by the Department of Environmental Protection retained by the agency for that purpose. Upon written request of the applicant, a forester certified by the department shall review and make recommendations to the inland wetlands agency on any application to conduct forest practices. The costs associated with any review provided for in this section shall be borne by the applicant provided in no event shall the total of fees and costs paid by the applicant in connection with an application to conduct forest practices exceed the standard fee which would be charged by the department for a similar application.

      (b) Any municipality not named in subsection (a) of this section which has, as of January 1, 1998, a program of regulation for forest practices may apply to the commissioner for approval to administer a municipal program of regulation in accordance with the provisions of this section. The commissioner may approve such program if he finds that such program was in existence on January 1, 1998, and was at that time in compliance with the standards provided by the Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development Forestry Committee.

      (c) At least one member or staff member of the inland wetlands agency shall complete a training program on forest practices which shall be developed by the commissioner. The commissioner shall annually make such program available to one person from each town without cost to that person or the town. Each inland wetlands agency authorized to regulate forest practices shall present a summary of the training program to the members of the agency at least once annually. Failure to have the training required under this subsection shall not affect the validity of any action of the agency.

      (d) Any municipal ordinance or regulation concerning forest practices, adopted in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, shall not be effective unless such ordinance or regulation has been submitted to the commissioner for approval, and the commissioner has approved said ordinance or regulation as consistent with the purposes of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, and regulations adopted thereunder and further finds that the municipality submitting such regulations had in effect on January 1, 1998, a program of regulation for forest practices which was in compliance with the standards provided by the Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development Forestry Committee. No municipal ordinance or regulation governing commercial forest practices which is in effect on the effective date of regulations adopted pursuant to section 23-65j shall be valid after the expiration of one year following the effective date of such department regulations unless such ordinance or regulation has been submitted to the commissioner for approval, and the commissioner has approved such ordinance or regulation as consistent with the purposes of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, and regulations adopted thereunder. The commissioner shall provide written notification to the municipality of the approval of a municipal ordinance or regulation or the reasons such ordinance or regulation is not approved. Such written notification shall be issued within sixty days of receipt by the commissioner of the ordinance or regulation adopted by the municipality. The commissioner may require modifications to such municipal ordinances or regulations within one hundred eighty days of any modifications to regulations adopted by the commissioner under section 23-65j.

      (e) Any form used by a municipality for the registration and approval of a forest practice shall be consistent with forms approved by the commissioner.

      (f) An inland wetlands agency authorized under subsection (a) or (b) of this section may require a reasonable filing fee to be deposited with the agency for any application to conduct forest practices. The amount of such fee shall be sufficient to cover the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting on applications, including, but not limited to, the cost of certified mailings, publications of notices and decisions and monitoring compliance with registration conditions or agency orders provided such fee is no greater than the comparable fee charged by the commissioner.

      (g) Each inland wetlands agency authorized to regulate forest practices shall annually report to the commissioner information on registrations, orders and other actions of such agency on a form furnished by the commissioner. Such information shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) Registrations issued; (2) registrations denied; and (3) enforcement notices and orders.

      (h) The commissioner shall regulate forest practices in accordance with the provisions of section 23-65j within a municipality which does not regulate forest practices in accordance with this section.

      (i) On or after the effective date of the municipal regulations adopted under subsection (a) of this section, no forest practice shall be conducted upon any forest land within the municipality except in accordance with such regulations.

      (j) If a forest practice is being conducted on a parcel of real property which extends into two or more contiguous towns, the commissioner shall have sole jurisdiction over such practice unless each such town has a program of regulation approved under this section. If the commissioner determines that there is any conflict between such programs, the state regulations shall govern such practice.

      (P.A. 91-335, S. 6; P.A. 98-228, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 98-228 added Subsecs. (a) to (j), inclusive, designating former section as Subsec. (d), to provide for regulation of forest practices by certain municipalities and to provide for procedures for approval of such municipal regulation, training of municipal officials, coordination among municipalities and fees.

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      Sec. 23-65l. Orders. If the Commissioner of Environmental Protection or, in a municipality in which there is an inland wetlands agency authorized to regulate forest practices, such agency, finds that any person has violated any provision of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, the commissioner or the agency, as the case may be, may issue an order to such person to take the necessary steps to comply with said sections. Each order to comply issued under this section shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the subject of such order and shall be deemed issued upon deposit in the mail. Any person who is aggrieved by such order may, within thirty days from the date such order or decision is issued, request a hearing before the commissioner or the agency, as the case may be. The commissioner or the agency shall not grant any request for a hearing at any time thereafter. After such hearing, the commissioner or the agency shall consider the facts presented to the commissioner or the agency by such person, shall consider the rebuttal or other evidence presented to or by the commissioner or the agency, and shall then revise or resubmit the order to the person, or inform the person that the previous order has been disapproved or that it has been reaffirmed and remains in effect. The commissioner or the agency may, after the hearing provided for in this section, or any time after the issuance of his order, modify such order by agreement or extend the time schedule therefor if the commissioner or the agency deems such modification or extension advisable or necessary, and any such modification or extension shall be deemed to be a revision of an existing order and shall not constitute a new order. There shall be no hearing subsequent to or any appeal from any such modification or extension.

      (P.A. 91-335, S. 7; P.A. 98-228, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 98-228 authorized municipal orders under this section.

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      Sec. 23-65m. Injunctions. If any person fails to comply with sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, including any regulation, certificate, authorization or order adopted or issued pursuant to said sections, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection may request the Attorney General to bring, or an inland wetlands agency authorized to regulate forest practices may bring, an action in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enjoin such person to comply fully with said sections, including any regulation, certificate, authorization, or order adopted or issued thereunder, or any part thereof. All actions brought by the Attorney General or an inland wetlands agency pursuant to this section shall have precedence in the order of trial as provided in section 52-191.

      (P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 91-335, S. 8; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 98-228, S. 3.)

      History: (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230 and P.A. 90-98 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain at Hartford" in public and special acts of the 1991 session of the general assembly, effective September 1, 1993); P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 98-228 authorized certain inland wetlands agencies to bring an action under this section.

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      Sec. 23-65n. Civil penalties. Any person who violates any provision of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, shall be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars, to be fixed by the court, for each offense. Each violation shall be a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense. The Attorney General, upon complaint of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or an inland wetlands agency authorized to regulate forest practices, shall institute a civil action to recover such penalty.

      (P.A. 91-335, S. 9; P.A. 98-228, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 98-228 authorized certain inland wetlands agencies to institute actions under this section.

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      Sec. 23-65o. Denial, suspension or revocation of forest practitioner certification. (a) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may refuse to grant practitioner certification or renewal of certification and may revoke or suspend certification following a hearing in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. Any violation of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, or any regulation adopted pursuant to said sections, applicable to certified practitioners, shall be grounds for denial, suspension or revocation of certification. Additional grounds for denial, suspension or revocation shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

      (1) Aiding, abetting or conspiring with a certified or noncertified person to evade the provisions of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive;

      (2) Allowing one's authorization or certification to be used by another person;

      (3) Making a false or misleading statement during an inspection or investigation concerning a violation of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive;

      (4) Conviction of a felony associated with the conduct of a regulated forest practice.

      (b) Any certified practitioner whose certification is suspended or revoked under the provisions of sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, shall not be eligible to apply for a new certificate until such time has elapsed from the date of the order suspending or revoking said certificate as has been established by the commissioner.

      (P.A. 91-335, S. 10.)

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      Sec. 23-65p. Revocation and reinstatement of municipal authority. (a) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may revoke the authority of a municipality to regulate forest practices pursuant to section 23-65k upon notice from a municipality that it intends to abandon such authority or upon determination after a hearing that such municipality has failed to perform its duties under said section 23-65k. Prior to the hearing on revocation, the commissioner shall send a notice to the inland wetlands agency, by certified mail, return receipt requested, asking such agency to show cause, not later than thirty days after receipt of such notice, why such authority should not be revoked. A copy of the show cause notice shall be sent to the chief executive officer of the municipality that authorized the agency. The commissioner shall send a notice to the inland wetlands agency, by certified mail, return receipt requested, stating the reasons for the revocation and any provisions necessary for reinstatement, in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. Any municipality aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner under this section to revoke its authority under this section may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183. The commissioner shall have jurisdiction over the forest practices in any municipality whose authority to regulate such forest practices has been revoked. Any fees that would have been paid to such municipality if such authority had been retained shall be paid to the state.

      (b) If the commissioner revokes the authority of a municipality to regulate forest practices, the municipality may apply to the commissioner for reinstatement of such authority after a period of one year from revocation. The commissioner may grant reinstatement if the municipality demonstrates that it is capable for fulfilling its duties under section 23-65k.

      (c) The commissioner shall cause to be published notice of the revocation or reinstatement of the authority of a municipality to regulate forest practices in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of such municipality.

      (d) The commissioner may issue an order or request to the Attorney General to bring an action in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce any order, registration, ordinance or regulation adopted under this chapter if the municipality fails to do so on a timely basis.

      (P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 98-228, S. 5.)

      History: (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230, 90-98, 93-142 and 95-220 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in public and special acts of the 1998 regular and special sessions of the General Assembly, effective September 1, 1998).

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      Sec. 23-65q. Appeal of municipal action re forest practices. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection or any person aggrieved by any order, registration, ordinance, regulation or action made by a municipality under sections 23-65f to 23-65o, inclusive, may appeal such regulation, order, decision or action in accordance with section 4-183. Notice of such appeal shall be served upon the inland wetlands agency and the commissioner. The commissioner may appear as a party to any action brought by any other person not later than thirty days from the date such appeal is returned to the court.

      (P.A. 98-228, S. 6.)

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