PA 16-122—sHB 5189

Environment Committee

AN ACT AUTHORIZING AN ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY FOR CERTAIN LITTERING VIOLATIONS AND REQUIRING CERTAIN REPORTS AND DISCLOSURES BY PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP ORGANIZATIONS IN THE STATE

SUMMARY: This act allows municipalities to assess, after a hearing, an administrative penalty of up to $500 on anyone who violates a municipal littering ordinance if the litter includes furniture, automobiles or automobile parts, large appliances, tires, bulky waste, hazardous waste, or similar material. This penalty is in addition to the fine imposed by the ordinance (see BACKGROUND).

The act also imposes two reporting requirements on the nonprofit representative organization created by paint producers to implement the state's paint stewardship program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016, except the paint stewardship reporting provisions are effective upon passage.

PAINT STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM REPORTS

The paint stewardship program allows consumers and businesses to drop off, at no cost, unused architectural paint at various locations around the state. The program is funded by an assessment added to the purchase price of paint covered by the program (CGS 22a-904 & -904a).

The act requires, by January 1, 2017, the paint stewardship program representative organization (i. e. , PaintCare, the nonprofit organization created by producers to implement the program) to report to the Environment Committee on (1) its efforts to assure the retail availability of remanufactured architectural paint in Connecticut, (2) the factors that resulted in the program having a fiscal surplus, and (3) its plan for assuring the program does not generate such a surplus.

It also requires any paint stewardship organization operating in the state to submit to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), by May 1 each year, certified audited financial statements and the name of any contractor or organization with which the organization has a contract valued at $2,000 or more. DEEP must post and maintain information (presumably the financial statements and list of contractors and organizations) on its website.

The representative organization already submits an annual report on the program to DEEP. This report includes, among other things, (1) a description of the methods used to collect, transport, and process the unused paint; (2) the amount and type of paint collected; (3) the total cost to implement the program; and (4) an evaluation of the program's funding mechanism (CGS 22a-904a(h)).

BACKGROUND

Litter and Littering

State law makes it illegal to litter on public land or public property, in state waters, or on private property not owned by the litterer. Public land includes a state park or state forest, municipal park, or other publicly owned land open to the public for recreation. A violator is subject to a fine of up to $199 and, under certain circumstances, a 50% surcharge (CGS 22a-250).

The law allows municipalities to adopt an ordinance imposing a fine for violating the state littering law and authorizing municipal police officers and other people to issue citations to enforce it. It allows municipalities with these ordinances to adopt a citation hearing procedure (CGS 22a-226d).

OLR Tracking: KLM; LH; PF: tjo