Action to reform Connecticut’s regulatory climate has quickly shifted from the Capitol to state regulatory agencies, especially the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

At the DEP, a variety of requirements called for in HB-5208 are already being implemented.

For example, the DEP’s Bureau of Air Management met with businesses earlier this month to review the range of permitting programs the bureau administers along with other state and federal requirements the bureau must comply with.

Representatives of the bureau asked business leaders how the agency could more efficiently accomplish its mission and meet its ongoing demands.

The bureau also raised the possibility that certain low-priority programs might be modified or eliminated. Clearly, the Air Bureau sees the new law both as a challenge and an opportunity and wants to have a good relationship and constructive dialogue with the regulated community.

CBIA hopes the other DEP bureaus will follow suit.

Here is an outline of the new law’s implementation requirements and deadlines:

May 13, 2010: DEP begins evaluating its existing timeframes for the review of all individual permits issued by the department.

Sept. 30, 2010: DEP issues a comprehensive report:

  • Proposing a plan for establishing a pilot expedited-permitting process for at least 200 manufacturing or other industrial facilities
  • Recommending changes to the DEP’s review schedules, with shorter timeframes for identifying deficiencies in permit applications and issuing tentative determinations
  • Identifying the process improvements, additional resources, staffing and programmatic changes necessary to meet the timeframes

Date not defined: DEP adopts regulations establishing schedules for timely action on each permit application. Legislated goals are 60 days to determine an application’s sufficiency and 180 days to complete a technical review. 

Sept. 30, 2010: DEP (working with the business, environmental and municipal communities) issues a report, recommendations and possible legislation concerning:

  • The impact of Connecticut’s Environmental Protection Act on the business community, the timeliness and certainty of the permitting process, and the effectiveness of the permitting process in preserving the environment;
  • Existing procedures for issuing general permits

Sept. 1, 2010: DEP begins negotiating with the EPA to create a “consulting services program” (based on a similar program under CONN-OSHA) in which the DEP will not issue a penalty or notice of violation for minor violations, when reasonable efforts are being made by the regulated entity to comply

Oct. 31, 2010:  DEP reallocates existing resources and adjusts policies to implement the consulting services program

Oct. 1, 2010: New task force reports findings and recommendations on extending the disclosure currently required for proposed DEP regulations concerning consistency with federal requirements

March 1, 2011: Whenever the DEP establishes or revises water quality standards, they must be done as regulations in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act

June 30, 2011: DEP adopts regulations establishing categories of discharges that may be exempted from the requirement to submit detailed plans and specs for review and approval.

For more information, contact Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or eric.brown@cbia.com.