The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has issued the long-awaited Wave 2 proposed changes to standards for remediating soil and groundwater contamination.
The proposed amendments to the Remediation Standard Regulations are intended to allow for faster cleanups and increased predictability in removing pollution while still protecting human health and the environment, according to DEEP.
The proposed amendments are part of an overall effort by new DEEP commissioner Katie Dykes to streamline many of the agency's permitting and regulatory processes.
Dykes unveiled the efforts last month during her keynote address at CBIA's Energy & Environment Conference in Cromwell.
It's called the 20 by 20 program and sets goals for predictability, efficiency, and transparency to strengthen DEEP's environmental regulatory and permitting processes by December 2020.
The streamlining effort addresses the fifth goal of finalizing RSRs and environmental use regulations to provide clearer standards for cleanups, Dykes said in a statement.
Modifications, Compliance Alternatives
The proposed amendments modify and create new ways to achieve compliance, including many that can be implemented by a licensed environmental professional without DEEP's prior approval.
These new compliance tools include certain types of engineered controls, calculation of certain alternative criteria, and in conjunction with the pending Environmental Use Restriction Regulations, the implementation of Notice of Activity and Use Limitations.
The latter can be used as an alternative to environmental land use restrictions under certain circumstances.
The proposed regulations are also intended to create greater flexibility at sites where soil and groundwater are polluted by pesticides.
DEEP says the proposals will add clarity and flexibility for the reuse of soils on the parcel being remediated, on abutting parcels, and on parcels impacted by the same release.
It will also allow for reuse of certain soils on other agricultural properties, Dykes said.
The proposed changes are lengthy and, in some cases, complex.
CBIA's E2: Energy & Environmental Council is reviewing the proposals in anticipation of filing formal comments with DEEP.
Any members interested in participating in that effort are encouraged to contact CBIA's Eric Brown for more information.
DEEP has scheduled several informational meetings for the public to understand the proposed amendments. They will be held:
- July 30, 2019, 9:30-11:30 am at DEEP headquarters, 79 Elm Street, Hartford
- Aug. 6, 2019, 1:30-3:30 pm at the Kellogg Environmental Center, 500 Hawthorne Avenue, Derby
- Sept. 11, 2019, 5-7 pm at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel, 100 Capital Boulevard, Rocky Hill.
These are informational question and answer sessions only, and are not part of the formal rule-making process.
The public notice process will last 90 days, until Oct. 7, 2019 at 5 pm.
Formal comments may be submitted in writing by that deadline using the eRegulations system, by email, or to Brian Thompson at DEEP, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse, Remediation Division, 2nd Floor, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, Connecticut 06106-5127.
A public hearing is scheduled for 1 pm Sept. 25, 2019 at DEEP headquarters, 79 Elm Street, Hartford.