PA 17-242—sSB 963

Commerce Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING EDUCATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES RELATING TO MANUFACTURING

SUMMARY: This act requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) commissioner to issue a notice of intent to adopt hazardous waste regulations consistent with recently adopted federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Current DEEP hazardous waste regulations largely align with EPA regulations that took effect in 2001.

The act also makes changes related to manufacturing workforce development. Specifically, it requires the (1) Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) to develop a plan to increase mechatronics course offerings and (2) Commerce Committee chairpersons to appoint and convene a working group to develop a program to train inmates in correctional facilities for manufacturing careers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except that the provision on hazardous waste regulations is effective October 1, 2017.

1 — HAZARDOUS WASTE REGULATIONS

By July 1, 2018, the act requires the DEEP commissioner to issue a notice of intent to adopt regulations that are consistent, except for any modifications he deems necessary, with the EPA's Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule as published in the Federal Register of November 28, 2016. Under existing law and the act, if the commissioner adopts regulations on activities for which the federal government has adopted standards or procedures, provisions that differ from the federal regulations must be clearly distinguishable either in the state regulations or in supporting documentation. DEEP must also explain why the provisions differ and make the explanation publicly available when the notice of intent is published (CGS 22a-6(h)).

Under the act, if the commissioner has not issued the required notice before July 1, 2018, he must submit a report to the Commerce Committee by August 1, 2018. The report must include (1) an updated timeframe for adopting the regulations and (2) a summary of any public comments DEEP received during the process to issue the notice of intent.

A hazardous waste generator is any entity that produces, usually through an industrial process, waste deemed hazardous under federal or state regulations. Federal and state regulations establish hazardous waste management requirements for three categories of generators that vary based on the amount of waste generated and stored (conditionally exempt small quantity (now called “very small quantity generators” in the EPA regulations), small quantity, and large quantity generators, see BACKGROUND).

2 — ONLINE MECHATRONICS COURSES

By January 1, 2018, the act requires the BOR to (1) develop a plan to offer online mechatronics courses at Central Connecticut State University and the community colleges and (2) submit the plan and any recommendations for related legislation to the Commerce and Higher Education committees. Mechatronics combines various engineering fields, including mechanical, electronics, controls, and computer. Mechatronics professionals design and repair robotics and computer-aided manufacturing equipment, among other things.

3 — WORKING GROUP ON MANUFACTURING TRAINING FOR INMATES

The act requires the Commerce Committee chairpersons to appoint and convene a working group to develop a program to train inmates in the custody of the correction commissioner for manufacturing jobs.

Appointments must be made by August 10, 2017 and must include at least:

1. a college or university manufacturing instructor;

2. a person experienced in providing job training to inmates;

3. a technical high school manufacturing teacher;

4. a manufacturers' association representative;

5. an owner or manager of a small manufacturing company (i.e., fewer than 100 employees);

6. an owner or manager of a large manufacturing company (i.e., more than 100 employees);

7. a representative of a private educational institution with a manufacturing program; and

8. the economic and community development, labor, and correction commissioners, or their designees.

The Commerce Committee chairpersons must select the working group's chairperson, who must schedule the group's first meeting, to be held by September 9, 2017.

The act requires the group to report its legislative recommendations on implementing the program to the Commerce, Judiciary, and Labor committees by January 15, 2018. The working group ends on that date or when it submits its report, whichever is later.

BACKGROUND

Current State Regulations and New Federal Rules

Hazardous waste generator regulations govern, among other things, (1) hazardous waste accumulation limits and storage methods; (2) waste treatment, disposal, and transport; (3) emergency preparation and personnel training; and (4) reporting and recordkeeping. Current state hazardous waste regulations generally incorporate by reference EPA rules that took effect in 2001 but are more stringent in some areas.

Among other things, the new federal rules:

1. provide more flexibility to conditionally exempt small quantity generators by allowing them to ship waste to a large quantity generator,

2. allow small quantity generators that generate an atypical amount of waste in a given month because of a non-routine event to maintain their usual status and avoid the requirements associated with higher generator status,

3. update emergency response and contingency planning provisions, and

4. were reorganized and rewritten for purposes of clarity.