OLR Bill Analysis

SB 230 (File 265, as amended by Senate "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING REVISIONS TO ENVIRONMENT-RELATED STATUTES.

SUMMARY:

This bill makes numerous unrelated changes to environment-related statutes.

It prohibits the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) commissioner from issuing a certificate or permit for a dock or other structure in an area designated as inappropriate or unsuitable for a dock or structure in an approved and adopted harbor management plan. By law, municipal harbor management commissions prepare harbor management plans, which are subject to review and approval by DEEP and the Department of Transportation and then adopted by local ordinance.

The bill requires a person applying for a permit from DEEP to (1) conduct regulated activity in a wetland or (2) dredge, erect structures, or place fill in state waters waterward of the coastal jurisdiction line, to provide notice to landowners whose property is located within 500 feet from the property line of the property where the proposed activity will occur. By law, the applicant must already publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area and notify the chief elected official of the municipality where the proposed activity will occur. The notice must include information on the proposed activity and state that the permit application is available for inspection at DEEP.

Next, the bill makes changes related to agricultural noisemaking devices used to deter wildlife from damaging crops. By law, the Department of Agriculture (DoAg) commissioner issues permits for people to use these devices. He may deny or cancel a permit if a municipal legislative body adopts a resolution asking him to do so and he determines that a device causes or will cause undue hardship to nearby residents. The bill defines “undue hardship” as causing significant injury to the health and comfort of a person while on his or her property.

The bill also allows the DoAg commissioner to institute a “best practical use procedure” at a municipality's request, instead of denying or cancelling a noisemaking device permit, if he determines it is feasible to limit excessive use of the device while allowing it to be effective. In developing a best practical use procedure, the commissioner must assess the (1) device, (2) accepted trade practices associated with the effective use of the device, (3) technical feasibility of implementing the procedure, (4) nature of the area where the device is used, (5) crop being protected, and (6) wildlife being repelled. The bill specifies that these provisions do not authorize a cause of action.

Additionally, the bill makes a conforming change to PA 14-100 by removing a reference to bamboo that is properly contained. The law prohibits people from planting, or letting anyone plant, “running bamboo” (i.e., bamboo in the genus Phyllostachys, including yellow-groove bamboo) on his or her property within 40 feet of abutting property or a public right of way. PA 14-100 eliminated an option of containing bamboo by a barrier system.

Lastly, the bill makes technical changes.

*Senate Amendment “A” adds the provisions on docks, notice of proposed regulated activity, noisemaking devices, and bamboo.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

29

Nay

0

(03/11/2016)