Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5360

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND CONSERVATION PROGRAMS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.

Vote Date:

3/14/2018

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/9/2018

File No.:

78

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

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill amends various regulatory quality and conservation programs under the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection by (1) expanding the exemption for certain sold waste and discharge permits, (2) require anyone who possesses, breeds, propagates, or sells fallow deer to obtain a game breeder's license, (3) allowing the lifetime authorization for hunting and fishing, and (4) specifies areas where there is no closed season for taking carp by bow and arrow.

Substitute Language – LCO No. 2622:

Substitute language includes a section to the bill as originally drafted that authorizes the establishment of lifetime hunting and fishing licenses by the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Furthermore, substitute language allows for the bow fishing of creel and carp on certain rivers in Connecticut.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Robert J. Klee, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP): Supports the bill.

“Passage of this provision would avoid the need for any registered municipal or private leaf composting facility from having to obtain a permit to add grass clippings to their operations, saving time and resources for both applicants and the department.”

Requiring people who possess fallow deer to get a game breeder's license will make sure DEEP has records on what these animals are doing and where.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Peter Gregoire, Secretary, Bowfishing Association of America: Supports the bill. Bowfishing typically removes invasive or harmful species or rough/underutilized species. In 2014 the common carp was identified on the top 100 worst invasive species list. As such, allowing bow fishing on this species will help keep the population under control.

Kyle Cooney: Please support this bill, as it will impact bow fishermen and their enjoyment of the outdoors in Connecticut.

The Environment Committee received over 40 additional similar letters supporting the bill stating its positive impact on the bow fishing community.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

David Moore, Owner, Big Carp Tackle: We are the largest carp tackle importer in the USA. Last year we sold a great deal of tackle to the residents Connecticut and also we supply two tackle shops with carp specific tackle. With the allowance of bowfishing to occur, people will be less encouraged to come to CT to fish. This, in turn, will negatively impact Big Carp Tackle.

Fejzo D. Akaratovic: Opposes the bill and would like regulations to remain as they are. Carp have become acclimated to the waters in New England and do not pose as much of a threat as is thought. Furthermore, allowing bow-fishing in certain areas will reduce the yield of catch and release anglers due to the permanent nature of bowfishing.

The Environment Committee received over 80 additional similar letters in opposition to the bill citing carps invasive nature and the impact of bowfishing on carp fisheries.

Reported by: Steve Smith / Steve Hoyt

Date: 4/2/2018