OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6123

AN ACT CONCERNING TREE REMOVAL ALONG LIMITED ACCESS HIGHWAYS.

SUMMARY

This bill requires, regardless of other laws, the Department of Transportation (DOT) to submit to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Environment Committee a tree removal plan 120 days before removing any trees from a limited access highway. DOT's plan must:

1. detail the areas scheduled for tree removal;

2. state the dates when the work is to take place and the amount of money DOT has allocated for it;

3. after consultation with DEEP, detail the environmental impact of the proposed tree removal, including the impacts of erosion and the growth of invasive species;

4. state the size of the area DOT intends to clear;

5. provide for the removal of debris; and

6. require the planting of noninvasive species, as recommended by DEEP, to replace the removed trees.

Before implementing the plan, DOT must have it reviewed and approved by a licensed arborist, provided such services are available from a licensed arborist employed by either DOT or DEEP.

The bill does not apply to the removal of damaged or dead trees that pose an immediate public hazard, as determined by the DOT commissioner or his designee.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

BACKGROUND

Limited Access Highway

By law, a limited access highway allows access only at designated intersections or points (e.g., Rt. 2 and Rt. 8).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

30

Nay

0

(02/22/2017)