Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5343

February Session, 2012

 

LCO No. 1701

 

*01701_______CE_*

Referred to Committee on Commerce

 

Introduced by:

 

(CE)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THROUGH STREAMLINED AND IMPROVED BROWNFIELD REMEDIATION PROGRAMS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) On or before January 1, 2013, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to commerce and the environment the results of an ongoing review of the general statutes as they relate to brownfield remediation and development and regulations promulgated pursuant to section 22a-133k of the general statutes. Such report shall include any recommended changes to such statutes and regulations or any recommendations for any new program for responding to hazardous material releases. Any recommendation for any such changes or new program shall consider the report submitted pursuant to section 6 of public act 11-141. In developing recommendations for such changes or new program, the commissioner shall also consider (1) the potential effect on federally-delegated programs; (2) the potential impact on certain small business sectors and municipalities; (3) protection of human health and the environment; (4) the efficacy of responding to releases, including the greater use of and authority for licensed environmental professionals overseeing the investigation and remediation of releases; and (5) how any such changes or new program may facilitate remediation and economic development, including at properties with existing remediation responsibilities.

(b) The commissioner's evaluation of such recommended changes or new program shall include recommendations relating to: (1) Reporting of threatened, new and historical releases by owners of property, operators or associated parties; (2) investigation of the degree and extent of releases in accordance with prevailing standards and guidelines prescribed by the commissioner; (3) an initial determination of whether there is an unacceptable risk to public health or the environment from such release requiring a prompt response and, if so, the abatement of such risk; (4) minor releases, including the prompt response and remediation without the use of a licensed environmental professional; (5) remediation of a release pursuant to the state's remediation standard regulations promulgated pursuant to section 22a-133k of the general statutes; (6) reporting, including annual reports, on an investigation and remediation; (7) milestone documents that may include an investigation report, exposure abatement report, remedial action plan, remediation report, long-term operation and maintenance plan, annual reports, and final verification; (8) notification to the public and meaningful public participation in proposed and ongoing response actions; (9) retention of a licensed environmental professional to oversee the actions detailed above, except for those described in subdivision (4) of this subsection; (10) timeframes within which the components referred to above must be accomplished, taking into consideration different types of releases, such as threatened, new or historical, and the potential risk posed by such releases; (11) fees regarding such recommended program, including fees that incentivize prompt action and may continue annually until the requirements of the program have been met; (12) broadening the decision-making ability of licensed environmental professionals based upon framework specified by the department, but without departmental review and approval of such decisions, including, but not limited to, allowing alternative risk-based and site-specific standards and approaches or use of variances currently recognized under the state's remediation standard regulations adopted pursuant to said section 22a-133k; and (13) revising the state's remediation standard regulations, promulgated pursuant to said section 22a-133k, to prescribe circumstances in which groundwater monitoring requirements can be limited and where post remediation groundwater monitoring may not be required.

(c) The commissioner shall also consider new and expanded means for periodically evaluating or auditing the effectiveness and efficiency of any such changes or new program to ensure, among other things, the appropriate exercise of authority by licensed environmental professionals and timely and effective action by those responsible for responding to releases. Such means may include, but are not limited to, the expanded use of the State Board of Examiners of Environmental Professionals established pursuant to section 22a-133v of the general statutes, that currently oversees licensed environmental professionals.

(d) The commissioner shall also consider the most effective means to implement any such recommended program, including, but not limited to, the impact upon federally-delegated programs and the extent, if at all, to which any changes or program may be applicable to properties undergoing investigation and remediation under current statutory requirements.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To empower the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection to perform an in-depth analysis of the state's brownfield remediation and development programs and recommend changes to such programs.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]