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Substitute Senate Bill No. 265

Public Act No. 18-146

AN ACT CONCERNING EXPEDITED PERMITTING PROCEDURES BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FOR BUSINESS INITIATION, EXPANSION OR NEW PRODUCTION AND ANNUAL REPORTING ON THE NUMBER OF ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS RESOLVED WITHOUT FINANCIAL PENALTY.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2018) (a) The Internet web site of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shall include an electronic form to request a preapplication meeting with the department to discuss the application for any permit necessary for the initiation of a new business or new manufacturing production line or the expansion of an existing business. A business may also request such a preapplication meeting in person, in writing or by telephone.

(b) Not later than thirty days after receiving a request for a preapplication meeting in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall make reasonable efforts to schedule a meeting with the requesting business, identify the information required to process the applications that are the subject of the preapplication meeting and provide such business with an estimated timeframe in which the commissioner would anticipate issuing a final decision on such applications.

(c) The commissioner shall survey each business that requested a preapplication meeting in accordance with subsection (a) of this section following the final decision on the applications that were the subject of such meeting. The survey shall collect information concerning the experience of each such business with the preapplication and permitting process. A summary of the information collected from such surveys and the average time for processing applications that were the subject of preapplication meetings shall be included in the annual report required by section 22a-6r of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

Sec. 2. Section 22a-6r of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

On or before July 1, 1997, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall submit to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to environment and the Department of Economic and Community Development a report on the permitting efforts of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in the preceding state fiscal year. Such report shall include, but not be limited to: An identification of revenues received from permit application fees and any revenues derived from the processing of such applications as set forth in this chapter and the department's appropriation from the General Fund for permitting activities; the number and amount of permit applications received; the number of permit decisions issued and the number of permits pending; the number and amount of permit application fees refunded; the number of permit applications requiring alternative timely action schedules pursuant to section 22a-6q; [and] a summary of the significant improvements the department has made in its permitting programs; a summary of the information collected in surveys of permit applicants that requested preapplication meetings in accordance with section 1 of this act and the average time for processing applications that were the subject of such preapplication meetings; and the number of violations investigated by the department's environmental quality division in the preceding state fiscal year and the number of such violations resolved by the division without the levy of a fine.

Approved June 13, 2018