Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 5151

    February Session, 2018

 

*_____HB05151PH____032718____*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING CONNECTICUT'S SAFE DRINKING WATER.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2018) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Small community water system" means a water company that regularly serves at least twenty-five, but not more than one thousand, year-round residents;

(2) "Unaccounted for water loss" means water that the small community water system supplies to its distribution system, but that never reaches its consumers;

(3) "Useful life" means a manufacturer's recommended life or the estimated lifespan of a water company's capital asset, taking into consideration the service history and the condition of such capital asset at the time a fiscal and asset management plan is prepared; and

(4) "Water company" has the same meaning as provided in section 25-32a of the general statutes.

(b) Each small community water system shall prepare a fiscal and asset management plan for all of the capital assets that comprise such system. The fiscal and asset management plan shall include, but need not be limited to, (1) a list of all capital assets of the small community water system, (2) the useful life of such capital assets, which shall be based on the current condition of such capital assets, (3) the maintenance and service history of such capital assets, (4) the manufacturer's recommendation regarding such capital assets, and (5) the small community water system's plan for the reconditioning, refurbishment or replacement of such capital assets. Such fiscal and asset management plan shall also provide information regarding whether the small community water system has any unaccounted for water loss, the amount of such unaccounted for water loss, what is causing such unaccounted for water loss and the measures the small community water system is taking to reduce such unaccounted for water loss. Each small community water system shall make the assessment of its hydropneumatic pressure tanks its initial priority in its preparation of the fiscal and asset management plan.

(c) Each small community water system shall complete the fiscal and asset management plan for all of its capital assets not later than January 1, 2021. Following the completion of the initial fiscal and asset management plan, each small community water system shall update such fiscal and asset management plan annually and make such fiscal and asset management plan available to the department upon request.

(d) Each small community water system shall complete, on a form developed by the Department of Public Health, the fiscal and asset management plan assessment review of its hydropneumatic pressure tanks not later than May 2, 2019.

(e) This section shall not apply to a small community water system that is (1) regulated by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, (2) subject to the requirements set forth in section 25-32d of the general statutes, or (3) a state agency.

(f) The provisions of this section shall be deemed to relate to the purity and adequacy of water supplies for the purposes of the imposition of a penalty under section 25-32e of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

(g) The Commissioner of Public Health may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to carry out the provisions of this section.

Sec. 2. Subsections (a) to (e), inclusive, of section 25-32e of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) If, upon review, investigation or inspection, the Commissioner of Public Health determines that a water company has violated any provision of section 25-32, section 25-32d or any regulation adopted under section 25-32d, or any [regulation in the Public Health Code relating] provision of title 19 or 25 or any regulation promulgated pursuant to said titles that relate to the purity and adequacy of water supplies or to the testing of water supplies or any report of such testing, the commissioner may impose a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars per violation per day upon such water company. Governmental immunity shall not be a defense against the imposition of any civil penalty imposed pursuant to this section. [The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54,] In establishing a schedule or schedules of the amounts, or the ranges of amounts, of civil penalties which may be imposed under this section, [. In adopting such regulations,] the commissioner shall consider the size of or the number of persons served by the water company, the level of assessment necessary to insure immediate and continued compliance with such provision, and the character and degree of injury or impairment to or interference with or threat thereof to: (1) The purity of drinking water supplies; (2) the adequacy of drinking water supplies; and (3) the public health, safety or welfare. [No such civil penalty may be imposed until the regulations required by this subsection have been adopted.] The commissioner shall publish annually, or as the commissioner deems necessary in response to any guidelines or ruling promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a schedule of the amounts, or ranges of amounts, of civil penalties that may be imposed under this section on the Department of Public Health's Internet web site if the civil penalty for a violation under this section has not been established by statute. Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 54, the commissioner shall not be required to adopt or revise any regulations regarding the imposition of civil penalties when publishing such schedule. Not less than six months prior to publishing such schedule, the commissioner shall publish notice in the Connecticut Law Journal of his or her intention to publish such schedule on the department's Internet web site. Such notice shall include such schedule and the date on which the commissioner intends to hold a public hearing on such schedule and indicate that public comment on such schedule shall be provided to the commissioner not later than thirty days after the date of publication of such notice. The commissioner shall hold the public hearing on such schedule not later than thirty days after the date of publishing such notice. The commissioner shall take any public comments received under this subsection into consideration in establishing such schedule. The commissioner shall publish a document responding to such comments on the department's Internet web site not less than one month prior to publishing such schedule.

(b) In setting a civil penalty in a particular case, where the civil penalty has not been established by statute or pursuant to the schedule in subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall consider all factors which the commissioner deems relevant, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) The amount of assessment necessary to [insure] ensure immediate and continued compliance with such provision; (2) the character and degree of impact of the violation on the purity and adequacy of drinking water supplies; (3) whether the water company incurring the civil penalty is taking all feasible steps or procedures necessary or appropriate to comply with such provisions or to correct the violation; (4) any prior violations by such water company of statutes, regulations, orders or permits administered, adopted or issued by the commissioner; (5) the character and degree of injury to, or interference with, public health, safety or welfare which has been or may be caused by such violation; and (6) [after the adoption of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act Public Notification Rule pursuant to section 5 of public act 01-185,] whether the consumers of the water company have been notified of such violation pursuant to [such rule] section 19-13-B102 of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies.

(c) If the commissioner has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may impose a penalty if compliance is not achieved by a specified date and send to the suspected violator, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or personal service at the address filed with the department by the water company as required under subsection (a) of section 25-33 or, if the water company did not file an address as required under said subsection, to the last known address of the water company on file at the department, a notice which shall include: (1) A reference to the sections of the statute or regulation involved; (2) a short and plain statement of the [matters asserted or charged] violation; (3) a statement of the amount of the civil penalty or penalties [to be] imposed; (4) the initial date of the imposition of the penalty when the penalty is imposed for a continuing violation, or the date for which the penalty is imposed when the penalty is imposed for an isolated violation; and (5) a statement of the [party's] water company's right to a hearing. The commissioner shall send a copy of such notice to the local director of health in the municipality or municipalities in which such violation occurred or that utilize such water.

(d) The civil penalty shall be payable for noncompliance on the date specified in subsection (c) of this section and for each day thereafter until the water company against which the penalty was issued [notifies] demonstrates to the commissioner that the violation has been corrected. [Upon receipt of such notification, the commissioner shall determine whether or not the violation has been corrected and shall notify the water company, in writing, of such determination. The water company may, within twenty days after such notice is sent by the commissioner, request a hearing to contest an adverse determination. If, after such hearing, the commissioner finds that the violation still exists, or if the water company fails to request a hearing, the penalty shall continue in force from the original date of imposition.]

(e) The water company to which the notice is addressed shall have twenty days from the date of mailing of the notice to make written application to the commissioner for a hearing to contest the imposition of the penalty. The application shall include a detailed statement of all of the grounds for contesting the imposition of the penalty. The water company shall send a copy of such application to the local director of health in the municipality or municipalities in which such violation occurred or that utilize such water. All hearings under this section shall be conducted pursuant to sections 4-176e to 4-184, inclusive, except that the presiding officer shall automatically grant each local director of health in the municipality or municipalities in which such violation occurred or that utilize such water the right to be heard in the proceeding. Any civil penalty may be mitigated by the commissioner upon such terms and conditions as the commissioner, in the commissioner's discretion, deems proper or necessary upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2018

25-32e(a) to (e)

PH

Joint Favorable Subst.