Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5356

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING EMERGENCY ACTION PLANS FOR DAMS.

Vote Date:

3/22/2018

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/16/2018

File No.:

Disclaimer: The following Joint Favorable Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Environment Committee

Rep. Dorinda Borer, 115th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

Proponents of the bill expressed that updates should not require the printing of an entirely new emergency plan, which often needs to be drawn up and approved. Currently dam owners and operators are required to submit an entirely new plan even during instances when one or two changes have been made. The bill seeks to lessen the regulatory burden on municipal and other dam owners by requiring updates on only the portions of the plan that has changed.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Metropolitan District (MDC): Supports the bill. MDC maintains and operates ten (10) dams, the MDC is required to file ten separate Emergency Action Plan(s) (EAP), and the cost associated with preparing and printing a single EAP is anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000. This legislative initiative is a means to reduce various regulatory burdens and to avoid costs that ultimately get covered by the local taxpayer.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Betsy Gara, Executive Director, Connecticut Council of Small Towns: Supports the bill. The Dam Safety Group of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is requiring dam owners/operators to submit completely new plans every two years. One municipal water department indicated that it spent more than $54,000 in 2017 to prepare EAPs for 3 dams to comply with the new requirements, which included modeling dam failure analyses. In addition to reducing costs for municipalities, this will make it easier for DEEP to monitor compliance because it will only need to review the updates to the EAPs and not the complete plans.

Elizabeth Gara, Executive Director, Connecticut Water Works Association:

This legislation is consistent with changes that have been made to minimize burdens on public water suppliers. It was amended to ensure that those public water suppliers only had to submit updates to the plans.

Len Greene Jr., Director, Government & Regulatory Affairs, FirstLight Power Resources:

The bill allows entities to submit updated reports without being overly burdened to create an entirely new report, streamlining the process while maintaining the standard for public safety.

Lori Vitagliano, Government and Public Relations Specialist, South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority:

“The ability to print and mail a few pages versus hundreds of pages for a complete report would greatly benefit the RWA and its customers.” The change will allow the RWA to get reports out more quickly at a lower cost.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: Steve Smith, Asst. Clerk

Date: 3/27/2018