Much of our efforts this year went to holding the line on attacks against the environment and building support among lawmakers for new initiatives. Advocates were strong and unified in blocking bills that would have weakened our state’s environmental protections or undercut investment in renewable energy. However, almost ALL major initiatives to make progress on various environmental programs went down, even the ones with strong bi-partisan support. There were very modest (but still hard-fought) wins. All focus is now on the state budget, with high stakes for the environment.
Good Bills That Passed
Access to Water Planning Information (F.O.I.A.)
HB 7221- An act concerning access to water planning information
HB 6008- Act amending the charter of the Metropolitan District Commission to add a consumer advocate board member.
Approval by the Regulation Review Committee of DEP’s proposed changes to the Water Diversion regulations
HB 7208- An act concerning the commercial property assessed clean energy program.
Coal Tar Sealant
HB 5884- An act prohibiting the use of coal tar sealants on state and local highways.
HB 6356 - An Act Concerning public notice of tree removal on municipal property.
Good Bills That Failed
State Constitutional Amendment to Protect Open Space
SJ 39- Resolution approving an amendment to the State Constitution to protect real property held or controlled by the state. SUPPORT, PASSED GAE, NO ACTION IN SENATE
Municipal Funding for Open Space Purchases
HB 6926- An act permitting municipalities to impose a buyer’s fee on the conveyance of real property. SUPPORT, NO ACTION IN PD
Bottle Deposit (Expand)
HB 5618- An act concerning an increase in the handling fee for Bottle Redemption Centers. SUPPORT, PASSED ENVIRONMENT, NO ACTION IN HOUSE
Ban on Fracking Waste
HB 6329- An act concerning hydraulic fracturing waste in Connecticut. - SUPPORT, PASSED ENV, PASSED HOUSE, NO ACTION IN SENATE
Crumb Rubber on Playgrounds
HB 6998- An act concerning the use of recycled tire rubber at municipal and public school playgrounds. - SUPPORT, PASSED KID, PASSED PD, NO ACTION IN HOUSE
HB 7097- An act concerning the licensing of new and used car dealers, to authorize the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to issue a new or used car dealer’s license to an electric vehicle manufacturer. - SUPPORT, PASSED TR, PASSED FIN, NO ACTION IN HOUSE
Clean/Renewable Energy and Climate Change
SB 630- An act concerning clean and renewable energy opportunities and use of renewable energy sources. (not sure if this was a major RPS bill)-SUPPORT, NO ACTION IN ET
HB 7247- Establish a carbon price for fossil fuels. - SUPPORT, NO ACTION IN ENV
SB 860- An act concerning contracts for zero emission renewable energy credits and low-emission renewable energy credits. -SUPPORT, NO ACTION IN ET
SB 973- An act concerning a residential sustainable energy program. -SUPPORT ONLY WITH REQUIREMENT FOR ENERGY ASSESSMENT,PASSED ET, NO ACTION IN FIN
HB 6547- An act concerning a Connecticut green plan and land resource and use inventory for energy infrastructure. -POSITION PENDING, PASSED ET, NO ACTION IN APP
Trophy Hunting and Endangered Species
SB 284- An act concerning Cecil's law. -SUPPORT, NO ACTION IN ENV
HB 6335- An act prohibiting the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horn in Connecticut. -SUPPORT, PASSED ENV, NO ACTION IN JUD
Pesticides and Herbicides
SB 754- An act prohibiting the use of herbicides on state highways by the Department of Transportation. - SUPPORT, PASSED ENV, PASSED SENATE **REDUCED TO NOTIFICATION**
HB 5873- An act requiring notice prior to pesticide applications by railroad companies and requiring vegetation management plans by such companies. - SUPPORT, PASSED ENV, PASSED PD, NO ACTION IN HOUSE
HB 6123- An act concerning tree removal along limited access highways. - SUPPORT, PASSED ENV, PASSED HOUSE, NO ACTION IN SENATE
Single Use Plastic/Paper Bags
HB 6313- An act establishing a tax on single-use plastic and paper bags. - SUPPORT PENDING CORRECTED LANGUAGE,PASSED ENV, REFERRED TO FIN
SB 994- An act concerning the conservation functions of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. - SUPPORT PENDING CORRECTED LANGUAGE,PASSED ENV, NO ACTION IN SENATE
Local Permit Transparency
HB 6004- Act concerning land use, zoning, wetlands and tax abatement application transparency. -SUPPORT, NO ACTION IN PD
HB 7220- Act concerning the Department of Public Health's recommendations regarding safe drinking water. - SUPPORT, NO ACTION IN HOUSE
SB 241- An act concerning public water system construction projects. -SUPPORT, NO ACTION IN PD
Bad Bills Defeated or Neutralized
HB 7134- An act concerning consent orders entered into by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. - OPPOSE, PASSED JUD, PASSED ENV, NO ACTION IN HOUSE Bypasses environmental laws and undermines the DEEP’s authority to enforce consent orders, even when the violator ignores the terms of the remediation agreement
SB 818- An act authorizing the suspension of civil penalties imposed on certain business entities pursuant to state regulations. - OPPOSE, PASSED CE, PASSED SENATE, NO ACTION IN HOUSE
HB 7063- An act concerning information included in the notice of intended action for proposed regulations and authorizing the suspension of civil penalties imposed on certain business entities pursuant of regulations. - OPPOSE, PASSED GAE, PASSED HOUSE, NO ACTION IN SENATE
SB 128- An act exempting new businesses from state regulations. -OPPOSE, NO ACTION IN CEIt makes no sense to exempt start-up companies from state regulations for the first two-years of operation. The intent of making CT more “business friendly” is ignorant of the severe and long-term damage and dangers to public safety and health this would cause.
HB 6327- An act concerning the process for the issuance of certain general permits by the department of energy and environmental protection. - OPPOSE, MOTION FAILED IN ENV This would require general permits to go through the regulation process. It appears to require that regulations be in place regarding any specific permit condition for DEEP to enforce the permit. This would hamper the permitting process and enforcement of permits.
HB 6151- An act permitting businesses to seek a declaratory ruling regarding regulations. - OPPOSE, NO ACTION IN GAEThis would provide companies carte blanche to avoid compliance with lawful regulations and foist a burden on the Attorney General for any ruling the complainant finds to be “controversial”.
HB 5087- An act permitting the suspension of administrative penalties imposed on certain business entities. -NO ACTION IN GAE This bill would make regulations into mere recommendations, jeopardize public safety, provide unfair business advantages to specific companies, add duties to state agencies, and add needless legal appeals to the courts.
SB 998- An act concerning the solicitation of high-property regulatory concerns by the commissioner of energy and environmental protection from a state-wide business organization. - PASSED ENV, NO LONGER OPPOSED AFTER AMENDED BY SENATE
SB 285- An act providing for the offset of certain environmental costs and fines through investment in environmental remediation. -OPPOSE, PASSED ENV, SENATE RECOMMITTED ENV This would allow a company to benefit from its own penalty payment by applying it to meet their pre-existing legal obligation
Millstone Nuclear Subsidies
SB 778- An act concerning expenses for consultants borne by telecommunications providers. - **THIS BILL WAS AMENDED SENATETO INCLUDE MILLSTONE NUCLEAR SUBSIDIES** - OPPOSE, PASSED SENATE, NO ACTION IN HOUSE
SB 106- An act concerning zero-carbon electric generating facilities and achieving CT’s greenhouse gas emissions mandated levels. -OPPOSE, PASSED ET, PASSED APP, NO ACTION IN SENATE
Bottle Deposit (Repeal)
SB 996- An act establishing a bottle recycling fee in lieu of a refundable deposit. -OPPOSE, PASSED ENV, PASSED APP, NO ACTION IN SENATE
SB 522- An act authorizing bear hunting in Connecticut. – OPPOSE, KILLED IN SENATE
Clean/Renewable Energy and Climate Change
SB 412- An act restricting the use of incentives for the development of solar arrays on agricultural land. - OPPOSE, NO ACTION IN ET
HB 7107- An act concerning the investment and use of regional greenhouse gas account funds. -OPPOSE, NO ACTION IN ET
HB 7012- An act requiring information on the state's energy costs competitiveness as part of the comprehensive energy strategy. - OPPOSE, PASSED ET, NO ACTION IN HOUSE
Sea Level Rise
HB 6354- An act authorizing hardened structures below the high-tide line for living shoreline purposes. - OPPOSE, NO ACTION IN ENV
SB 753- Act concerning the viability of expanding the bottled water industry in CT. - OPPOSE, PASSED ENV, NO ACTION IN SENATE
Community Investment Act
HB 5503- An act concerning lake authorities and combating invasive plant and animal species. - OPPOSE adding new programs to CIA, PASSED ENV, NO ACTION IN HOUSE
Alternative Treatment Septic System
HB 5416- An act concerning the threshold for the department of energy and environmental protection's review of community water systems. - OPPOSE, PASSED ENV, REFERRED TO APP
Committees ENV- Environment, ET - Energy and Technology, PH - Public Health, PD - Planning and Development, GAE - Government and Administration, TR - Transportation, CE - Commerce, KID - Children, JUD - Judiciary