Energy costs, spill reporting, commercial and industrial packaging, and stormwater permitting are among the key issues the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will be addressing through the rest of the year.
A new Comprehensive Energy Strategy is being drafted that will define how the state intends to balance concerns for cost, reliability and environmental impacts with respect to energy policy.
DEEP is currently accepting comments regarding the strategy's scope, including guiding principles and questions.
The draft is expected in late summer or early fall. At that point, another comment period will open.
CBIA's E2: Energy & Environment Council is working with members to develop priorities and comments.
Spill Reporting Requirements
In response to concerns raised by manufacturers, the legislature passed Public Act 16-199, which requires DEEP to adopt regulations defining specific quantities for spills that trigger a reporting requirement to the agency.
The concept is to define these quantities for the most commonly spilled materials and set a default quantity for all other spills that could pose a threat to human health or the environment.
It's important that businesses stay informed and get involved in the discussions.
In the meantime, CBIA members, again through E2, will be communicating with the agency as the proposal is developed.
The legislature also adopted Special Act 16-6, which creates a task force that includes DEEP commissioner Robert Klee or his designee, to study and make recommendations to the Environment Committee concerning methods for reducing the amount of consumer packaging disposed as solid waste.
At the request of the committee, CBIA’s E2 submitted names for consideration for appointment to the task force.
Appointments are expected to be made in the next four-six weeks.
The task force’s finding and recommendations are due to the committee by Jan. 1, 2017.
The five-year term of Connecticut’s general permit for the discharge of stormwater at industrial facilities expires this year.
And while DEEP has already provided a two-year extension to the general permit, the agency is working on revisions and is expected to issue a “notice of tentative determination” for a new general permit before the end of the year.
This general permit affects hundreds of businesses across the state of all sizes and types.
The proposed permit is expected to be more stringent than the current version and, as in the past, may trigger an appeal from one or more industrial interests.
These appeals trigger a cumbersome, resource-intensive process that can take months or longer to resolve. Hence, the reason for DEEP issuing the two-year extension.
These are just some of the issues DEEP will address in the coming months that will impact Connecticut businesses and our state’s regulatory climate.
It is important that businesses stay informed and, to the extent they are able, get involved in the discussions.