The General Assembly's Environment Committee recently approved a bill that changes the approval process for certain permits submitted to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Committee members unanimously approved HB 5454 after substituting some of its language.
The bill changes current law requiring DEEP to act within 90 days on certain permit applications or the permit is deemed approved, to requiring the agency to make "best efforts" to process applications within 90 days.
The bill also modifies the list of permits subject to the timeline.
The bill was additionally changed to establish a pilot program authorizing the use of licensed environmental professionals for expediting the issuance of permits at the expense of the permit applicant.
It now awaits action in the state House.
'Aggressive' Greenhouse Gas Goal
The committee also approved SB 7, which, among other things, creates an aggressive mandate for reducing greenhouse gases.
After roughly 12 years, Connecticut has, so far, achieved about 10% of the reductions mandated by 2050.
This bill requires an additional 35% reduction over the next 12 years.
One concern is the cost to businesses to attain that goal, especially considering it is 25% higher than what was achieved in the prior 12 years.
SB 7 now heads to the state Senate.
The committee passed SB 343, which requires Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities located in areas with a high risk of flooding, severe storm impact, or sea level rise (based on updated modeling) to update their hazardous mitigation plans accordingly.
That measure goes to the Senate.