Planning and Development Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5725

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE-WIDE PHOSPHOROUS REDUCTION PLAN.

Vote Date:

4/1/2013

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/13/2013

File No.:

547

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Planning & Development Committee

Senator Fasano

Representative Fritz

Representative Candelora

Representative Zoni

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill would require the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to collaborate with municipalities and other interested parties to submit a report to the General Assembly regarding a state-wide phosphorus reduction plan.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Dan Esty, Commissioner, State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP): DEEP feels that, because they have already begun the process of drafting recommendations in collaboration with municipalities and other interested parties, additional legislation is not needed at this time.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM): CCM supports the bill because they feel that municipalities, which are already facing the cost of water treatment upgrades to meet phosphorus reduction mandates, should have a voice in a collaborative process with DEEP to draft a statewide approach to phosphorus reduction.

Dennis Waz, Public Utilities Superintendent, City of Meriden: Mr. Waz supports the bill because he feels the collaborative method used to draft the report and the recommendations contained therein will result in the best, most cost effective plan for municipalities to comply with phosphorus containment regulations. In addition Mr. Waz encourages an increase in the reimbursement rate for water treatment upgrades from 30 percent to 50 percent.

Mike Ruef, WPCA Technician/Chief Operator, Town of Coventry: Mr. Ruef supports the bill because he feels that the collaborative framework provided for in the bill is the best way to achieve an effective, cost effective plan to reduce water pollution.

Representative David Zoni, 81st District: Representative Zoni supports the bill because he feels that without a collaborative model municipalities would be burdened with high costs that they would need to pass on to taxpayers in order to meet phosphorus reduction standards.

Richard Smith, First Selectman, Town of Deep River; President, Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST): COST supports the bill because they feel that a collaboration between municipalities and DEEP will lead to the development of a state-wide cost effective method of reducing phosphorus contamination.

Robert E. Lee, Town Manager, Town of Plainville: Mr. Lee supports the bill because he feels that a statewide effort between affected municipalities and DEEP will lead to the best, most effective methods of phosphorus control. In addition, Mr. Lee encourages an increase in the reimbursement rate for water treatment upgrades from 30 percent to 50 percent.

Gary Brumback, Town Manager, Town of Southington: Mr. Brumback supports the bill because he feels that a collaborative model will best allow municipalities and DEEP to develop an effective, cost effective plan for phosphorus reduction and that municipalities are given a reasonable time frame within which to meet those standards.

Mark D. Boughton, Mayor, City of Danbury: The City of Danbury supports the bill because it believes that a collaboration between municipalities and DEEP will allow for a careful examination of phosphorus reduction standards and the costs associated with those standards, which in turn will allow for better understanding of the issue for municipalities and taxpayers.

Raymond E. Drew, WPCA Administrator, City of Torrington: The City of Torrington supports the bill because it believes that a collaboration between municipalities and DEEP will bring all involved parties to the table and allow for a careful examination of phosphorus reduction standards and their effectiveness while allowing municipalities a reasonable amount of time to enact those standards.

Representative Mary Mushinsky, 85th District: Representative Mushinsky supports the bill because she feels that collaboration between municipalities and DEEP will allow for a better exchange of ideas and proposals, however she feels that it is important not to place limits on participation in such collaborative efforts.

Robert N. Beaumont, Chairman, Wallingford Public Utilities Commission: The Town of Wallingford supports the bill because it believes that a collaborative model will best allow for a thorough examination of current phosphorus reduction standards and methods in order to determine the most effective method at the lowest cost to municipalities. In addition, the Town of Wallingford encourages an increase in the reimbursement rate for water treatment upgrades from 30 percent to 50 percent.

Vincent F. Susco, Jr., President, Connecticut Association of Water Pollution Control Authorities (CAWPCA): CAWPCA supports the bill because they feel that a collaborative model will allow for the best examination of current phosphorus reduction standards and possible alternatives while allowing municipalities a reasonable amount of time to enact those standards.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Leah Schmalz, Director of Legislative and Legal Affairs, Connecticut Fund for the Environment: Connecticut Fund for the Environment opposes the bill because they feel that it is redundant and could potentially damage or restart a process that is already ongoing.

Reported by: Peter Murszewski

Date: April 2, 2013