A great first step to improve Connecticut’s regulatory climate and address a major concern of many businesses in the state was taken this week by the legislature’s Environment Committee.

For years, businesses have been frustrated by the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) practice of issuing statements—such as guidance, policy and other documents—and then putting them into practice as if they were regulations.

Even if the statements were only drafts, the DEP considered them new and valid Connecticut standards. But in a convincing 22-8 vote (with one absent), the committee approved SB-120, which will allow businesses and others to petition the legislature’s Regulations Review Committee for a determination on whether a particular DEP document is improperly exceeding the regulatory authority granted to DEP by the legislature.

Showing the bill’s wide, bipartisan support, Sen. Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) and Rep. Richard Roy (D-Milford), co chairs of the committee along with Senate ranking member, Sen. John McKinney (R-Southport) and committee vice-chairs, Sen. Andrew Maynard (D-Stonington) and Rep. Bryan Hurlburt (D-Tolland) spoke in support of the proposal and helped sway the committee to approve the bill.

As the session continues, the committee will be considering other bills also designed to improve Connecticut’s regulatory climate and help the state’s economy recover in an environmentally sound way.

CBIA appreciates this initial step by the Environment Committee, which recognizes the need for the DEP to uphold environmental standards in a manner that is sensitive to the economic impact of its proposals. We also appreciate the support of those who voted “yes” on the bill.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860-244-1926 or eric.brown@cbia.com.