May 17, 2011
QUESTIONS FOR NOMINEE TO CRRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
1. You were appointed to represent towns with populations under 50,000. Is there a significant difference in the waste management needs of large and small towns? How does that perspective influence your decisions on the board?
2. SB 1170, currently pending in the Senate, would make changes to the composition of CRRA's board of directors. Some of these changes include increasing the board's membership from 11 to 15; decreasing the number of legislative and gubernatorial appointments; removing expertise requirements, and increasing municipal representation, among others. If enacted into law, what effect would this bill have upon CRRA and the municipalities it services?
3. 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?
4. 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?
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 these fees?
3. In November 2010, the Metropolitan District Commission 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?
RECYCLING AND WASTE DIVERSION
1. Do you believe single-stream recycling is more effective than sorting recyclables into different bins?
2. Some Connecticut municipalities have implemented or are considering implementing Pay-as-you-Throw programs where residents are charged for each bag of trash they dispose. Do you believe that these programs are effective at reducing waste and increasing recycling?
3. Do you know why 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?
4. As an incentive to increase recycling, CRRA recently rebated towns by paying them $5.00 for every qualifying ton of recyclables delivered to CRRA during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010. Will CRRA continue this program for the current fiscal year? Are there ways that CRRA could expand this program to further encourage municipal recycling?
5. The legislature is considering a bill (SB 1116) that would establish composting requirements for certain commercial food wholesalers or distributors, industrial food manufacturers or processors, supermarkets, resorts, and conference centers. If enacted into law, how will such legislation impact the state's overall diversion rate?