DEEP Pushes $3.3M New Annual Permit Fees
Legislators this week heard testimony on a bill allowing the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to charge up to $1,000 in annual permit fees.
SB 238 gives DEEP authority to assess fees for all general permits issued after Oct. 1, 2022, a move that could cost businesses $3.3 million annually.
DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes told the Environment Committee March 7 that Section 12 of the bill allows “fees sufficient to recover the regulatory cost for monitoring and assuring compliance with
terms and conditions of such general permit.”
DEEP uses both individual and general permits to regulate activity in the state and is allowed by law to assess annual fees on individual permits.
Individual permits are issued directly to an applicant, while general permits—which require a registration feevare issued to authorize similar minor activities by one or more applicants.
Because of the specific nature of individual permits, they tend to increase DEEP’s workload. General permitting is seen as a more efficient process.
CBIA’s Ashley Zane told committee members “this revenue grab will greatly increase costs for a wide range of activities, including food processing, biofuel production, industrial laundries, beverage production, water treatment, printing, and photography.”
“Connecticut is already known for its high cost of doing business and regulatory oversight,” she said.
“Tying up more money in permitting fees could be better spent investing in cleaner and greener projects designed to be better environmental partners and help the state accomplish their environmental goals.”
Zane noted that many members of CBIA’s E2: Energy & Environmental Council already assume additional costs by monitoring and sampling production outputs, upgrading systems, hiring specialists to evaluate
processes, and utilizing technology to become more efficient and effective.
CBIA will continue to monitor this bill and advocate that this punitive section be removed. The committee’s deadline for acting on legislation is March 30.
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