With the 2020 legislative session underway, CBIA's E2 Energy & Environment Council members met Feb. 21 with leaders of the General Assembly's Environment and Energy and Technology committees to discuss this session's priorities.

Joining the annual discussion with E2 members in Hartford were Sen. Christine Cohen (D-Guilford), Sen. Craig Miner (R-Litchfield), and Rep. Mike Demicco (D-Farmington) from the Environment Committee, and Sen. Norm Needleman (D-Essex) and Sen. Paul Formica (R-Niantic) from the Energy and Technology Committee.

E2 Annual Legislators Meeting
State senators Paul Formica, Norm Needleman, Christine Cohen, and Craig Miner and Representative Mike Demicco spoke at the Feb. 21 E2 legislative meeting.

Much of the discussion focused around the Transfer Act, waste management, energy storage, permitting, and staff attrition at the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 

The Transfer Act, which has become a priority for the Commerce and Environment committees, puts purchasers on notice that they are buying properties with a history of hazardous waste generation and assigns responsibility for any necessary investigation or remediation to the buyer or seller.

However, the Transfer Act, which council members discussed with lawmakers last year, has also sharply stunted economic development in the state, resulting in a bipartisan effort to amend the law with a proposal to shift it to a released-based model.

E2 members shared some of their main concerns about the current law and the proposal, which highlighted the importance implementing regulations early in the process, having defined entry and exit language, as well as addressing the nearly 4,500 properties presently classified as establishments under the law. 

Carbon Emission Goals

Lawmakers also touched upon Governor Lamont's zero carbon emission goal for 2040, reflected in SB 10.

The bill aims to codify the goal into law. 

Consensus among legislators was that a balance must be struck between the continuation of carbon reduction, increasing renewable energy and storage technologies, and not limiting natural gas expansion in a cost-effective and reliable way for businesses and residents. 

With raised bill deadlines now passed for the Environment and Energy and Technology committees, CBIA will continue to monitor legislation impacting the business community as it develops. 

For more information on environmental issues, contact CBIA's Michelle Rakebrand (860.244.1921) | @MRakebrand

For more information on energy issues, contact CBIA's Shannon King (860.331.0712) | @shannoneking53