OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 1017

AN ACT CONCERNING THE EMERGENCY PLANS OF OPERATIONS OF SHORELINE COMMUNITIES AND THE DESIGNATION OF LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS HAZARD AND SECURITY ZONES.

SUMMARY:

This bill (1) requires the attorney general to recommend that the U. S. Coast Guard designate a hazard zone around any liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal located or proposed on Long Island Sound that will affect Connecticut (e. g. , the proposed Broadwater facility--see BACKGROUND), (2) requires the attorney general to recommend that the federal government designate a security zone around any such facility, and (3) prohibits any security service from operating in state waters without legislative and executive approval. The bill requires legislative and executive approval of the hazard and security zone designations as well.

The bill requires the emergency operations plan of every shoreline town or city contain provisions for addressing any emergency caused by an existing LNG facility on the Sound. It requires the town to submit the plan to the Public Safety and Security Committee and Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) commissioner for approval. The committee must hold a hearing on it within 30 days after getting it and, within five days after the hearing, it must approve or reject the plan by roll call vote and forward the plan and vote record to the legislature.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007 for the security and hazard zones; October 1, 2007 for the emergency plans and security service provisions.

HAZARD ZONE

The bill requires the attorney general to recommend to the U. S. Coast Guard that it designate a hazard zone around any LNG terminal located on, or proposed for, Long Island Sound that will affect Connecticut waters or land. The attorney general must make his recommendations in writing and in consultation with the DEMHS commissioner and submit them to the governor and the legislature.

The governor and the Environment and Public Safety committees must approve the designation of a hazard zone before the Coast Guard's designation of such a zone takes effect.

The attorney general must file a written notice of the Coast Guard's designation with the Governor's Office and House and Senate clerks.

Within five days after getting the notice, the clerks must refer it to the Public Safety and Environment committees. Within 30 days after getting it, the committees must hold a joint public hearing on it and, within five days after the hearing, each committee must approve or reject the notice by roll-call vote and forward it and the vote record to the legislature.

The legislature has 15 days after getting the notice to approve or reject the notice. It must be approved, in whole or part, by a majority vote of each chamber. If one chamber fails to approve it or, if the legislature does not act on it during the 15 days, it is considered rejected.

Any notice submitted to the legislature when it is not in session is deemed rejected if the legislature fails to convene and consider it by the 30th day after it gets it. The clerks must inform the Coast Guard in writing when the legislature rejects or approves the notice.

The governor must approve or reject the notice of the Coast Guard's designation of a hazard zone and notify the Coast Guard, in writing, by registered mail.

PRIVATE SECURITY SERVICES

The bill prohibits any private security service from operating on state waters without prior legislative and executive approval. By law, unchanged by the bill, any such service operating anywhere in the state must be licensed by the Department of Public Safety and meet specified criteria.

Under the bill, any private security service wanting to operate on state waters must file a written notice of its intent with the House and Senate clerks and the Governor's Office.

Within five days after getting the notice, the clerks must refer the notice to the Public Safety and Security Committee, which must hold a hearing within 30 days after getting it. The balance of the process mirrors the hazard zone designation approval process.

The bill defines “security service” as any person or entity that for consideration to another person or entity provides any of the following services:

1. patrol services;

2. security for patrons and people authorized to be on property the licensee is hired to protect;

3. services intended to prevent or detect intrusion, entry, larceny, vandalism, abuse, fire, or trespass on property the licensee is hired to protect; or

4. services intended to prevent, observe, or detect unauthorized activity on property the licensee is hired to protect.

SECURITY ZONE DESIGNATION

The bill requires the attorney general, in consultation with the DEMHS commissioner, to make written recommendations to the federal government for designating a security zone around the LNG facility and submit the recommendations to the governor and legislature.

The governor and the Public Safety and Environment committees must approve the designation before it takes effect.

The attorney general must file a written notice of the federal government's designation with the House and Senate clerks and the Governor's Office. The approval process mirrors the hazard zone approval process.

BACKGROUND

Liquefied Natural Gas Facility in Long Island Sound

Broadwater Energy has proposed developing a facility in Long Island Sound in New York State waters to regasify LNG shipped from other countries. The facility would be connected by a new pipeline to the existing Iroquois pipeline, and the gas would then be shipped to Long Island, Connecticut, and other markets.

Federal Law

Federal law gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) exclusive jurisdiction over the siting of LNG terminals, although it retains the rights of states under other federal laws including the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). It designates FERC as the lead agency in obtaining federal authorizations and complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference

Yea

23

Nay

0

(03/06/2007)

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

19

Nay

0

(03/14/2007)