Environment Committee Approves Two Regulatory Reform Bills, Third Fails
The legislature’s Environment Committee completed most of its work March 22, except for bills that other committees will refer to it later in the legislative session.
The committee approved two bills designed to improve the state’s regulatory climate. A third bill failed in committee.
SB 998 passed on a 17-12 vote and now heads to the state Senate.
The bill requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to:
- Annually solicit three top regulatory concerns from the business community
- Meet with affected businesses
- Provide three legislative committees a summary of its discussions with affected businesses
- Provide any plans to address business concerns
The committee approved SB 285 on a 24-6 vote and it also heads to the Senate.
SB 285 requires DEEP to waive any civil penalty assessed against any business for a first-time violation of any regulation if it takes action to remedy the violation within 30 days.
This waiver does not apply to any willful or grossly negligent violation, those that result in harm to human health or the environment, or any penalty required under any provision of federal law or regulation.
HB 6327 failed on a 13-16 vote.
This bill required proposed DEEP general permits with the potential to impact large numbers of businesses, to be adopted following the same process as regulations.
CBIA expresses appreciation to the committee’s rank-and-file members for passing, on a bipartisan basis, SB 998 and SB 285—despite opposition from two of the committee’s three co-chairs.
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