Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5509

Public Act No. 18-174

AN ACT CONCERNING WATER POLLUTION CONTROL AUTHORITIES.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) (a) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, special act, municipal charter or ordinance to the contrary, each municipality with a population of not fewer than one hundred thousand that is served by a private water company that is regulated by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall adopt an ordinance, if applicable, to:

(1) Protect seniors, veterans and low-income families from water pollution control authority foreclosures by restricting accelerated foreclosure proceedings for past due sewer fees owed by any such person. For purposes of this section, "municipality" means any town, city, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough;

(2) Lower the interest rate charged by such municipality on delinquent sewer assessments; and

(3) Restrict assignees of water pollution control authorities from purchasing foreclosed properties and to establish financial guidelines that trigger foreclosure for nonpayment of fees.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, on and after the effective date of this section, no action to foreclose a lien shall be instituted for a period of one year after such action is filed by a water pollution control authority or a representative of such authority.

Sec. 2. (Effective July 1, 2018) (a) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, special act, municipal charter or ordinance, not later than January 1, 2019, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall establish a program to regulate any applicable charges and assessments and lien processes, including, but not limited to, foreclosures, of any water pollution control authorities located in municipalities with populations of not fewer than one hundred thousand that are served by a private water company that is regulated by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. Not later than two years following the establishment of such program, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall submit a report to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to planning and development, energy and technology and the environment, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, detailing the status of such program and identifying any recommendations for legislation to further facilitate or expand such program.

(b) The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall direct each water pollution control authority or private water company regulated pursuant to the program established under this section to assess and collect a surcharge on each customer served by each such authority or company under such program. Such surcharge shall be in an amount equal to four dollars per customer per year. The proceeds from such surcharge shall be remitted to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and applied to offset the costs and expenses of establishing and administering such program.

Approved June 14, 2018