In its final vote before last Friday’s deadline for approving bills, the Environment Committee gave a hollow endorsement to SB-1106. This proposal from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) seeks major changes to several environmental programs—changes that would increase costs and regulatory burdens for businesses and owners, including owners with no connection to any historic contamination of their properties.

In opposing the bill, CBIA expressed disappointment that the DEP put forth a measure with such huge implications just two weeks before the committee’s deadline—without input from the business, legal, consulting or environmental communities. Over the last two years, CBIA has urged the DEP to form a stakeholder group to work on these issues and arrive at better solutions.

At the Environment Committee meeting, House Chair Richard Roy (D-Milford) said he was asked to bring the bill to a vote by DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy, who assured him that the department would not pursue the bill for passage but wanted to use it “as a means to generate discussion.”

Senate Chair Edward Meyer (D-Guilford) said that if the bill were to reach the Senate calendar and be eligible for consideration by the Senate, “he would ask that the bill not be called.”

Despite these assurances, the committee approved the bill in a 16-14 bipartisan vote.

CBIA appreciates the support of all those on the committee who voted against the bill and especially thanks committee Vice-chair Bryan Hurlburt (D-Tolland) and Ranking Member Clark Chapin (R-New Milford). They led the bipartisan opposition to the bill and called for a broad stakeholder process to address the matter.

Others supporting CBIA’s position: Sen. Andrew Maynard (D-Stonington), Sen. John McKinney (R-Fairfield), Rep. Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), Rep. Fred Camillo (R-Greenwich), Rep. Kim Fawcett (D-Fairfield), Rep. Edward Jutila (D-Niantic), Rep. Thomas Kehoe (D-Glastonbury), Rep. Larry Miller (R-Stratford), Rep. Craig Miner (R-Litchfield), Rep. Jason Perillo (R-Shelton), Rep. John Piscapo (R-Thomaston), and Sen. Andrew Roraback (R-Goshen).

CBIA will continue to work to defeat SB-1106. For more information, contact Eric Brown at 860-244-1926 or eric.brown@cbia.com.