Location:
EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


February 7, 2011

 

2011-R-0089

QUESTIONS FOR CRRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS NOMINEES

By: Kristen L. Miller, Legislative Analyst II

CONNECTICUT RESOURCES RECOVERY AUTHORITY (CRRA) (CGS 22a-261 and 262)

● The authority's board of directors consists of 11 members appointed by the governor and legislative leaders.  The governor appoints three members and the Senate president pro tempore, the House speaker, the Senate minority leader and House minority leader two each.

● Three directors must represent towns with a population of fewer than 50,000 and two must represent towns with populations greater than 50,000.

● Five directors represent the public and must have extensive, high-level experience in a specified field.  Three must be experienced in finance, business, or industry; one in an environmental field; and one in an energy field.

● Directors serve four-year terms and must be confirmed by both houses. The governor designates one member to serve as chairman, with the advice and consent of both houses.  The chairman serves at the governor's pleasure.

CRRA is a quasi-public agency that plans, designs, builds, and operates solid waste disposal, volume reduction, recycling, intermediate processing, and resources recovery facilities.  The chairperson, with approval of the board of directors, appoints the president of the authority, who supervises the authority's administrative affairs and technical activities.

CURRENT ISSUES

1. A 2010 bill (SB 267) proposed establishing a task force to examine, among other things, whether CRRA is “best suited to be the primary contributor to the accomplishment of the goals of the state's solid waste management plan.” Are there other types of organizations that could fulfill CRRA's mission and purpose? Are there barriers or obstacles that make it difficult for CRRA to fulfill its mission?

2. Dozens of contracts between CRRA and individual municipalities expire in the next two years.  Does CRRA expect all of these municipalities to renew their contracts? What is CRRA doing to encourage municipalities to renew those contracts?

3. CRRA recently selected NAES Corporation to operate and maintain the Mid-Connecticut Facility when the contracts with current operators expire. How many jobs will be lost as a result of this decision?

4. You were appointed to represent municipalities.  Is there a significant difference in the waste management needs of large and small towns? How does that perspective influence your decisions?

FINANCES

1. The economic climate has forced public and private entities to operate with smaller budgets.  What steps has CRRA taken to operate more efficiently?

2. What factors affect CRRA's tipping fees? Do you anticipate increasing or decreasing CRRA's tipping fees?

3. In November 2010, the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) filed suit against CRRA over the process for selecting an operator of the Mid-Connecticut Facility. Do you anticipate that this litigation will affect CRRA's service and disposal fees charged to customers?

4. Stratford and Hartford are home to CRRA's Garbage and Trash Museums. In 2009, the Garbage Museum was at risk of closing its doors. What is the status of these museums today and how many people visit them each year? What has been the effect of instituting an entrance fee at the museums?

RECYCLING

1. Do you believe single-stream recycling is more effective than sorting recyclables into different bins?

2. Connecticut's recycling rate has hovered near 30% for a number of years. The Department of Environmental Protection's amended Solid Waste Management Plan calls for increasing the state's recycling rate to 58% by 2024. Do you think this is a feasible goal? What can CRRA do to help achieve this goal and what is it doing now to promote recycling?

3. As an initiative to increase recycling, in 2009 CRRA rewarded towns by paying them $5.00 for every qualifying ton of recyclables delivered to CRRA during the fiscal year ending July 30, 2009. Does CRRA have plans to institute similar incentive initiatives?

4. The Environment Committee this session is considering legislation establishing a five cent fee for each disposable bag provided by a retailer to a customer. How would such a fee impact solid waste? Would its benefits exceed its costs?

FACILITY SITES

1. Inner-city residents believe they have historically been overburdened by siting landfills and incinerators in their neighborhoods.  Do you think these beliefs are justified? If so, what steps should CRRA take to remedy this situation?

2. After closing Staten Island's Fresh Kills Landfill, New York City began the process of transforming the landfill into what will become, at 2,200 acres, the city's largest public park.  Is a similar transformation possible for closed landfills in Connecticut? What are other possible long term uses of landfills?

KM:ts