OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5821

AN ACT CONCERNING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS.

SUMMARY:

This bill allows state-licensed engineers to certify that economic development projects comply with all state permitting requirements. It specifies the professional criteria an engineer must meet before he or she can certify a project. But it does not indicate if the agency funding the project, the project's developer, or the agency issuing the permit must approve the engineer. Nor does it state if the permitting agency must issue the permit when the engineer certifies compliance.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

CERTIFYING ENGINEERS

The bill specifies the criteria a state-licensed engineer must meet to certify that an economic development project complies with state permitting requirements. An engineer may certify compliance if he practices engineering based on knowledge acquired through professional education and practical experience. The knowledge must be of mathematics, physical science, and engineering principles.

The engineer's practice may include consulting, investigating, evaluating, planning, designing, or supervising construction projects. The projects may be related to public or privately owned structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, or works. They must affect the public welfare or present the need to safeguard life, public health, or property.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

The bill's certification option is available for four types of economic development projects. The first type includes many traditional economic development uses, including manufacturing, industrial, research, office, product warehousing and distribution, and hydroponic or aquaponic food production facilities. These uses qualify for permit certification if the Connecticut Development Authority (CDA) determines they will maintain or create jobs; maintain or increase the tax base; or maintain, expand, or diversify industry.

A wide range of environmental quality projects also qualify for permit certification. Eligible projects include controlling, abating, preventing, or disposing of land, water, air and other environmental pollution, including thermal, radiation, sewage, wastewater, solid waste, toxic waste, noise, or particulate pollution. They do not include new resources recovery facilities used mainly to process municipal solid wastes.

Alternate energy and energy conservation projects involving commercial or industrial applications qualify for permit certification. They include projects using cogeneration technology or solar, wind, hydro, biomass, or other renewable energy sources.

Lastly, permit certification is also available to any type of project that improves the capacity of the state's economy to generate new wealth. CDA must first determine if the project will create or retain jobs, promote exports, encourage innovation, or support the state's economic base in other ways.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Commerce Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

20

Nay

0

(03/12/2009)