Calling it a “truly transforming piece of legislation,” Gov. Rell last week signed a new law that will help employers cut through regulatory red tape at the Department of Environmental Protection and make sure the state’s environment is protected.

“That is reform we can all embrace,” said the Governor at the bill signing.

CBIA members were an integral part of the bipartisan drive to adopt  Public Act 10-158 (HB-5208), which the Governor said will help make Connecticut much more business friendly. Present at the bill signing was CBIA Environmental Policies director Eric Brown, who was also a member of the Governor’s task force created to develop the proposals.

The new law contains reforms that are designed to make it easier for Connecticut companies to do business with the DEP and spark greater economic development.   Among other things, the legislation:

  • Establishes time frames for completing the review of permit applications
  • Creates a new program for expediting permits for projects of economic significance
  • Creates a statewide permit ombudsman and requires the designation of a business ombudsman with the Departments of Environmental Protection, Transportation and Public Health
  • Reduces permit application requirements for certain categories of facilities
  • Establishes a review of procedures for adopting general permits and recommendations for improvement
  • Sets up a new “consulting services program” within the DEP to improve compliance assistance
  • Requires statewide standards that form the basis of water permitting to be adopted as regulations rather the current DEP-only process;
  • Requires the use of various methods for reducing the impact of proposed regulations on small businesses.

CBIA appreciates the hard work of all the legislators, the Governor and the stakeholders who contributed to the crafting of this bipartisan landmark legislation.

Also key to its passage was the involvement of many CBIA members who took the time to help formulate the legislation, meet with and contact legislators, and enlist the support of colleagues in their companies and within the overall business community.

This major regulatory reform legislation addresses an issue that has been consistently identified by companies and economists as a significant barrier in Connecticut’s ability to keep and attract new, high-quality jobs.

Bipartisan support for the reforms demonstrates that Connecticut wants to move forward to protect its environmental resources in a way that also places a high value on jobs and economic investment.

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