All State Policies: Connecticut
Below are short descriptions of relevant state agencies/departments by policy topic, followed by more information on specific policies.
Drinking Water: Connecticut has over 2,500 public water systems and around 85% of the state’s 3.6 million residents get their drinking water from community systems. Connecticut’s Department of Public Health’s Drinking Water Section (DWS) is responsible for the administration and implementation of state and federal public health-focused drinking water laws and regulations, including the SDWA.
Environmental Justice: Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Environmental Justice Program “Incorporates principals of environmental justice into aspects of the CTDEEP’s program development, policy making, and regulatory activities.” In 1993 DEEP developed an Environmental Equity Policy, requiring certain facilities to submit an Environmental Equity Plan as part of the application process. Subsequent environmental justice policies have bolstered this planning obligation. Connecticut Siting Council, which has jurisdiction over siting of power facilities, transmission lines, hazardous waste facilities, telecommunications sites, and other infrastructure, also implements the state’s EJ law with respect to facility permits.
Bolstering CWA Protections
Senate Bill 837 (Public Act No. 21-191)
Signed on 07/13/2021
Prohibits the use of class B firefighting foam that contains an intentionally added perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substance. By October 1, 2021, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection must develop or identify a take-back program for municipally owned class B firefighting foam containing PFAS. Additionally, “As soon as feasible, but not later than December 31, 2023, no food package to which PFAS has been intentionally introduced during manufacturing or distribution in any amount shall be offered for sale or for promotional purposes in this state by its manufacturer or distributor.” While this Act does not directly address PFAS in drinking water, it signals movement by the state to regulate PFAS and end source contamination.
Executive Order 66
Outlines the Water Planning Council’s (representatives of four state agencies: Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Office of Policy and Management, and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and the Department of Public Health) ability to implement the State Water Plan to manage water resources. States that “water is a public trust pursuant to Section 22a-15, in which the General Assembly has found and declared that there is a public trust in the air, water and other natural resource of the state of Connecticut and that each person is entitled to the protection, preservation and enhancement of the same.”
Water Pollution Control Authorities (Substitute House Bill No. 5509/Act No. 18-174)
Requires each municipality with a certain population served by a private water company to adopt ordinances to protect seniors, Veterans, and low-income families from foreclosure due to past due sewer fees, to lower the interest rate charged on delinquent assessments, to restrict assignees of Authorities from purchasing foreclosed properties, requires the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to establish a program to regulate charges, assessments, and lien processes.
CT HB 7008 An Act Concerning Enhancements to the State’s Environmental Justice Law
Updated the Connecticut General Statues to expand the definition of “Community environmental benefit agreement” (including mitigating impacts to watercourses), and details how to engage with neighborhood and environmental groups. Facilities seeking new or expanded permits or siting approval from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection or the Connecticut Siting Council must enter into community environmental benefit agreement in locations that have 5 or more affecting facilities. An environmental justice public participation plan must be filed prior to applying for a new or expanded permit for “affecting facilities.”
(4) “Community environmental benefit agreement” means a written agreement entered into by the chief elected official or town manager of a municipality and an owner or developer of real property whereby the owner or developer agrees to develop real property that is to be used for any new or expanded affecting facility and to provide financial resources for the purpose of the mitigation, in whole or in part, of impacts reasonably related to the facility, including, but not limited to, impacts on the environment, including, but not limited to, air quality and watercourses, quality of life, asthma rates, traffic, parking and noise.”
CT Substitute House Bill 5145 An Act Concerning Environmental Justice Communities and the Storage of Asbestos-Containing Material
Went into effect 1/1/2009
Defined “Environmental Justice Community,” “Affecting facility,” “Meaningful public participation,” and “Community environmental benefit agreement.” The Act outlined that applicants of new or expanded permits or siting approvals in EJ communities must file a meaningful public participation plan and consult the elected officials of the town to “evaluate the need for a community environmental benefit agreement.”
Defined “environmental justice community as “a United States census block group, as determined in accordance with the most recent United States census, for which thirty per cent or more of the population consists of low-income persons who are not institutionalized and have an income below two hundred per cent of the federal poverty level, or (B) a distressed municipality.”
Defined “affecting facility” as “(A) electric generating facility with a capacity of more than ten megawatts; (B) sludge or solid waste incinerator or combustor; (C) sewage treatment plant with a capacity of more than fifty million gallons per day; (D) intermediate processing center, volume reduction facility or multitown recycling facility with a combined monthly volume in excess of twenty-five tons; (E) new or expanded landfill, including, but not limited to, a landfill that contains ash, construction and demolition debris or solid waste; (F) medical waste incinerator; or (G) major source of air pollution, as defined by the federal Clean Air Act.
“Meaningful public participation” means (A) residents of an environmental justice community have an appropriate opportunity to participate in decisions about a proposed facility or the expansion of an existing facility that may adversely affect such residents’ environment or health; (B) the public’s participation may influence the regulatory agency’s decision; and (C) the applicant for a new or expanded permit, certificate or siting approval seeks out and facilitates the participation of those potentially affected during the regulatory process; and
(4) “Community environmental benefit agreement” means a written agreement entered into by a municipality and an owner or developer of real property whereby the owner or developer agrees to develop real property that is to be used for any new or expanded affecting facility and to provide financial resources for the purpose of the mitigation, in whole or in part, of impacts reasonably related to the facility, including, but not limited to, impacts on the environment, traffic, parking and noise.”
Internal Environmental Equity Policy at DEEP
In 1993 DEEP developed an Environmental Equity Policy, requiring certain facilities to submit an Environmental Equity Plan as part of the application process. Background information may be found on the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website.