Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 346

    February Session, 2016

Substitute House Bill No. 5385

House of Representatives, March 31, 2016

The Committee on Environment reported through REP. ALBIS of the 99th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION'S MATERIALS MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS.

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

Section 1. Section 22a-207 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

For the purposes of this chapter and chapter 103b:

(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection or his authorized agent;

(2) "Department" means the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection;

(3) "Solid waste" means unwanted or discarded solid, liquid, semisolid or contained gaseous material, including, but not limited to, demolition debris, material burned or otherwise processed at a resources recovery facility or incinerator, material processed at a recycling facility and sludges or other residue from a water pollution abatement facility, water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility;

(4) "Solid waste facility" means any solid waste disposal area, volume reduction plant, transfer station, wood-burning facility or biomedical waste treatment facility;

(5) "Volume reduction plant" means any location or structure, whether located on land or water, where more than two thousand pounds per hour of solid waste generated elsewhere may be reduced in volume, including but not limited to, resources recovery facilities, waste conversion facilities and other incinerators, recycling facilities, pulverizers, compactors, shredders, balers and composting facilities;

(6) "Solid waste disposal area" means any location, including a landfill or other land disposal site, used for the disposal of more than ten cubic yards of solid waste. For purposes of this subdivision, "disposal" means the placement of material at a location with the intent to leave it at such location indefinitely, or to fail to remove material from a location within forty-five days, but does not mean the placement of material required to be recycled under section 22a-241b in a location on the premises of a recycling facility, provided such facility is in compliance with all requirements of state or federal law and any permits required thereunder;

(7) "Recycling" means the processing of solid waste to reclaim material therefrom;

(8) "Recycling facility" or "recycling center" means land and appurtenances thereon and structures where recycling is conducted, including but not limited to, an intermediate processing center as defined in section 22a-260;

(9) "Resources recovery facility" means a facility [utilizing processes to reclaim energy from municipal solid waste] that combusts mixed municipal solid waste to generate electricity;

(10) "Transfer station" means any location or structure, whether located on land or water, where more than ten cubic yards of solid waste, generated elsewhere, may be stored for transfer or transferred from transportation units and placed in other transportation units for movement to another location, whether or not such waste is stored at the location prior to transfer;

(11) "Municipality" means any town, city or borough within the state;

(12) "Municipal authority" means the local governing body having legal jurisdiction over solid waste management within its corporate limits which shall be, in the case of any municipality which adopts a charter provision or ordinance pursuant to section 7-273aa, the municipal resource recovery authority;

(13) "Regional authority" means the administrative body delegated the responsibility of solid waste management for two or more municipalities which have joined together by creating a district or signing an interlocal agreement or signing a mutual contract for a definitive period of time;

(14) "Region" means two or more municipalities which have joined together by creating a district or signing an interlocal agreement or signing a mutual contract for a definite period of time concerning solid waste management within such municipalities;

(15) "Solid waste management plan" means an administrative and financial plan for an area which considers solid waste storage, collection, transportation, volume reduction, recycling, reclamation and disposal practices for a twenty-year period, or extensions thereof;

(16) "Municipal collection" means solid waste collection from all residents thereof by a municipal authority;

(17) "Contract collection" means collection by a private collector under a formal agreement with a municipal authority in which the rights and duties of the respective parties are set forth;

(18) "Solid waste planning region" means those municipalities within the defined boundaries of regional councils of governments or as prescribed in the state solid waste management plan;

(19) "Biomedical waste" means infectious waste, pathological waste and chemotherapy waste generated during the administration of medical care or the performance of medical research involving humans or animals and which, because of its quantity, character or composition, has been determined by the commissioner to require special handling but excluding any solid waste which has been classified by the department as a hazardous waste pursuant to section 22a-115 or is a radioactive material regulated pursuant to section 22a-148;

(20) "Generator of biomedical waste" means any person who owns or operates a facility that produces biomedical waste in any quantity, including, but not limited to the following: General hospitals, skilled nursing facilities or convalescent hospitals, intermediate care facilities, chronic dialysis clinics, free clinics, health maintenance organizations, surgical clinics, acute psychiatric hospitals, laboratories, medical buildings, physicians' offices, veterinarians, dental offices and funeral homes. Where more than one generator is located in the same building, each individual business entity shall be considered a separate generator;

(21) "Biomedical waste treatment facility" means a solid waste facility capable of storing, treating or disposing of any amount of biomedical waste, excluding any facility where the only biomedical waste treated, stored or disposed of is biomedical waste generated at the site and any licensed acute care facility or licensed regional household hazardous waste collection facility accepting untreated solid waste generated during the administration of medical care in a single or multiple family household by a resident of such household;

(22) "Throughput" means the amount of municipal solid waste processed by a resources recovery facility determined by dividing the average annual tonnage of municipal solid waste by three hundred sixty-five days;

(23) "Municipal solid waste" means solid waste from residential, commercial and industrial sources, excluding solid waste consisting of significant quantities of hazardous waste as defined in section 22a-115, land-clearing debris, demolition debris, biomedical waste, sewage sludge and scrap metal;

(24) "Wood-burning facility" means a facility, as defined in section 16-50i, whose principal function is energy recovery from wood for commercial purposes. "Wood-burning facility" does not mean a biomass gasification plant that utilizes land clearing debris, tree stumps or other biomass that regenerates, or the use of which will not result in a depletion of, resources;

(25) "Person" has the same meaning as in subsection (b) of section 22a-2;

(26) "Closure plan" means a comprehensive written plan, including maps, prepared by a professional engineer licensed by the state that details the closure of a solid waste disposal area and that addresses final cover design, stormwater controls, landfill gas controls, water quality monitoring, leachate controls, postclosure maintenance and monitoring, financial assurance for closure and postclosure activities, postclosure use and any other information that the commissioner determines is necessary to protect human health and the environment from the effects of the solid waste disposal areas;

(27) "Designated recyclable item" means an item designated for recycling by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection in regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of section 22a-241b, or designated for recycling pursuant to section 22a-208v or 22a-256;

(28) "Composting facility" means land, appurtenances, structures or equipment where organic materials originating from another process or location that have been separated at the point or source of generation from nonorganic material are recovered using a process of accelerated biological decomposition of organic material under controlled aerobic or anaerobic conditions;

(29) "Source-separated organic material" means organic material, including, but not limited to, food scraps, food processing residue and soiled or unrecyclable paper that has been separated at the point or source of generation from nonorganic material;

(30) "Waste conversion facility" means a facility that uses thermal, chemical or biological process to convert solid waste into electricity, fuel, gas, chemicals or other products. "Waste conversion facility" does not include any resources recovery facility.

Sec. 2. Section 22a-208d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) On and after July 1, 1989, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall not issue a permit under section 22a-208a to construct or expand a resources recovery facility or a mixed municipal solid waste composting facility where any mixed municipal solid waste will be processed or a disposal area for ash residue generated by resources recovery facilities or mixed municipal solid waste unless said commissioner makes a written determination that such facility or disposal area is necessary to meet the solid waste disposal needs of the state and will not result in substantial excess capacity of resources recovery facilities, disposal areas or mixed municipal solid waste composting facilities in accordance with capacity targets established in the state-wide solid waste management plan.

(b) The commissioner shall publish, at the expense of the applicant, notice of the preliminary determination of need for the proposed facility or disposal area in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the area affected. Publication shall be within sixty days of determination by the commissioner that the application is complete. Any person may submit written comments on the preliminary determination of need in the same manner as provided by the commissioner for the submission of comments on the application. The commissioner shall not make a final determination of need for the facility or disposal area unless a permit is issued. A preliminary determination of need shall be void if a permit is not issued. As used in this section, "preliminary determination of need" means a statement by the commissioner of the need for a resources recovery facility, a mixed municipal solid waste composting facility or disposal area during the pendency of an application to construct such facility or area.

(c) (1) The applicant for a permit to construct or expand a resources recovery facility or a mixed municipal solid waste composting facility requiring a determination of need under subsection (a) of this section shall provide such information as the commissioner deems necessary, including but not limited to:

(A) The design capacity of the proposed facility;

(B) The planned operating rate and throughput for the facility;

(C) An explanation of any difference between the information provided under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this subdivision;

[(D) The estimated amount of the following: (i) The mixed municipal solid waste generated by and received from each municipality and other customers that will send waste to the facility, in tons per day evidenced by contracts or letters of intent, (ii) the mixed municipal solid waste to be recycled pursuant to regulations adopted by the commissioner under section 22a-241b, and (iii) change in the amount of mixed municipal solid waste generated because of population growth, waste generation, source reduction and industrial and commercial development over the design life of the facility. Information submitted under this subdivision shall include the methodology used to determine the estimates;]

[(E)] (D) A contingency plan for use of facility capacity if throughput declines or increases by at least ten per cent from the throughput estimated in the application;

[(F)] (E) An analysis of reasonable levels of reserve capacity for seasonal peaks and unexpected facility outages;

[(G)] (F) The capability of the applicant to complete the project; and

[(H)] (G) The technical feasibility of the proposed facility. [; and]

[(I) A demonstration that the throughput capacity of the proposed facility, when combined with the throughput capacity of all other resources recovery facilities with permits to construct under the provisions of section 22a-208a, existing resources recovery facilities with construction permits to expand and mixed municipal solid waste composting facilities, shall not exceed the total throughput capacity of resources recovery facilities and mixed municipal solid waste composting facilities needed to process waste generated in the state as set forth in the solid waste management plan adopted pursuant to section 22a-228.]

(2) In making the determination required under this section, the commissioner shall consider the information submitted under subdivision (1) of this subsection, the current and anticipated availability of throughput capacity for mixed municipal solid waste at resources recovery facilities, mixed municipal solid waste composting facilities, land disposal areas, recycling facilities and other facilities that process or dispose of mixed municipal solid waste that have obtained all necessary permits to construct and any other information the commissioner deems pertinent and shall insure that no waste is accounted for more than once as a result of transfer from one vehicle or facility to another or for any other reason.

(d) (1) The applicant for a permit to construct a disposal area for ash residue generated by resources recovery facilities or mixed municipal solid wastes which requires a certificate of need under subsection (a) of this section shall submit such information as the commissioner deems necessary, including but not limited to, (A) the name of the resources recovery facilities or municipalities to be served by the disposal area; (B) the transportation system needed to serve the disposal area; (C) the available capacity of other disposal areas for ash residue or mixed municipal solid waste in the state that have obtained all necessary permits to construct; and (D) the design capacity of the disposal area.

(2) In making the determination required under this subsection, the commissioner shall consider the information submitted pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and any other information the commissioner deems pertinent.

(e) The provisions of this section shall apply to any application for a permit under section 22a-208a for a resources recovery facility, for a disposal area for ash residue generated by resources recovery facilities, for a mixed municipal solid waste composting facility or for a disposal area for mixed municipal solid wastes which is pending on or submitted after July 1, 1989.

(f) This section shall not apply to an application for a permit or permit modifications of any resources recovery facility operating as of June 30, 1993, provided there is no expansion after that date of the facility's boilers or waste handling and processing equipment. Any such facility shall comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations. Nothing in this subsection and no action taken by the commissioner pursuant hereto shall validate or invalidate any permit or determination of need issued or approved prior to June 30, 1993, for any resources recovery facility not operating as of that date, or otherwise affect any action of the commissioner, proceedings or judicial review relating thereto, pending on or commenced after that date.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2016

22a-207

Sec. 2

October 1, 2016

22a-208d

ENV

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Outyears

Various Municipalities

Potential Savings

None

None

Potential

Explanation

This bill classifies waste conversion facilities as volume reduction plants. Additionally, it allows resources recovery facilities to generate energy with mixed municipal solid waste (MSW) through combustion only, rather than using any other energy generation process.1

As these changes in definition relate to emerging technologies, and does not affect current waste conversion processes, the bill is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact in FY 17 or FY 18.

However, the bill may result in savings to various municipalities in the outyears, to the extent new technologies result in lower-cost processing of MSW. A reduction in costs by these facilities may be passed on to municipalities through reduced tipping fees.

Lastly, the bill also reduces the amount of information a resources recovery facility must provide the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection with their permit application (known as a “determination of need”). As this process is already being streamlined by the agency, this also does not result in a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5385

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION'S MATERIALS MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS.

SUMMARY:

This bill adds waste conversion facilities to the existing definition of volume reduction plants, which are places or facilities used to reduce solid waste at a rate of at least 2,000 pounds per hour. By law, a volume reduction plant is one type of solid waste facility, which must be permitted by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

Under the bill, a “waste conversion facility” converts solid waste into electricity, fuel, gas, chemicals, or other products through thermal, chemical, or biological processes, but it is not a resources recovery facility. Corresponding to the new definition, the bill limits resources recovery facilities (which are also a type of volume reduction plant) to combusting mixed municipal solid waste (MSW) to generate electricity, rather than using any process to reclaim energy from MSW.

The bill also reduces the amount of information a resources recovery facility or MSW composting facility (i.e., a facility that recovers organic material) applying for a DEEP permit must provide as part of the DEEP commissioner's review of whether there is a need for the facility. This process is commonly referred to as a “determination of need.” By limiting the definition of resources recovery facility, the bill excludes waste conversion facilities from this need determination.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

DEEP DETERMINATION OF NEED

Existing law prohibits the DEEP commissioner from issuing a permit to construct or expand certain waste facilities or disposal areas unless he determines that they are needed to meet the state's solid waste disposal needs and will not result in substantial excess capacity. The bill specifies that the capacity targets are as provided in the state's solid waste management plan (see BACKGROUND).

The bill eliminates three pieces of information a resources recovery facility or mixed MSW composting facility must provide as part of the need determination process:

Existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires the facilities to provide information about design capacity, planned operating rate and throughput, technical feasibility, capability to complete the project, reserve capacity, and contingencies for facility use.

BACKGROUND

Municipal Solid Waste

By law, MSW is solid waste from residential, commercial, and industrial sources, but not waste that has significant amounts of hazardous or biomedical waste, land-clearing or demolition debris, sewage sludge, and scrap metal (CGS 22a-207(23)).

Solid Waste Management Plan

The DEEP commissioner is currently revising the state's solid waste management plan to include a strategy for diverting, through source reduction, reuse, and recycling, at least 60% of solid waste generated in Connecticut by January 1, 2024. The law requires the revision to be completed by July 1, 2016 (CGS 22a-241a).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

28

Nay

1

(03/11/2016)

TOP

1 Volume reduction plants convert MSW into electricity, fuel, gas, or chemicals, through thermal, chemical, or biological processes, but they are not resource recovery facilities. There are currently 7 waste conversion and forty volume reduction plants.