Substitute Senate Bill No. 571

Public Act No. 00-175

An Act Concerning The Use Of MTBE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (a) As used in this section, "MTBE" means the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether.

(b) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall, in conjunction with the Northeast Regional Fuels Task Force, develop and implement a plan for the phase-out of the use of MTBE in a manner that will eliminate MTBE as a gasoline additive on and after October 1, 2003. Not later than January 1, 2001, and annually thereafter through January 1, 2003, the commissioner shall report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment on how the elimination of MTBE will be achieved. Each report shall include a progress update on the status of the regional efforts to reduce MTBE levels in gasoline.

(c) Beginning July 1, 2000, the Connecticut Petroleum Council, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, the Oxygenated Fuels Association, and the Independent Connecticut Petroleum Association, under the direction of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, shall undertake an effective education campaign directed at all users of gasoline, including, but not limited to, homeowners, marine trades and businesses, about the proper handling of gasoline. Said campaign shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Warning at the point of sale about the proper handling of gasoline; (2) instructions on portable gasoline containers sold after July 1, 2000, about the proper handling of gasoline; and (3) newspaper, radio and television information advertisements.

(d) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall seek a waiver from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the purpose of discontinuing the use of MTBE, as a gasoline additive in this state.

Sec. 2. Section 22a-438 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (d) as follows:

(NEW) (d) Any person who or municipality which wilfully or with criminal negligence discharges gasoline in violation of any provision of this chapter, shall be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars per day for each day of violation or be imprisoned not more than three years or both. A subsequent conviction for any such violation shall carry a fine of not more than one hundred thousand dollars per day for each day of violation or imprisonment for not more than ten years or both. For the purposes of this subsection, person includes any responsible corporate officer.

Sec. 3. Section 22a-450 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The master of any ship, boat, barge or other vessel, or the person in charge of any terminal for the loading or unloading of any oil or petroleum or chemical liquids or solid, liquid or gaseous products, or hazardous wastes, or the person in charge of any establishment, or the operator of any vehicle, trailer or other machine which by accident, negligence or otherwise causes the discharge, spillage, uncontrolled loss, seepage or filtration of oil or petroleum or chemical liquids or solid, liquid or gaseous products, or hazardous wastes which poses a potential threat to human health or the environment, shall immediately report to the commissioner such facts as the commissioner by regulation may require. Any such report shall include, but not be limited to, the location, the quantity and the type of substance, material or waste, the date and the cause of the discharge, spillage, uncontrolled loss, seepage or filtration, the name and address of the owner of the ship, boat, barge or other vessel, terminal, establishment, vehicle, trailer or machine, and the name and address of the person making the report and his relationship to the owner. Any person who fails to make a report required by this section may be fined not more than one thousand dollars and the employer of such person may be fined not more than five thousand dollars, except that any person who fails to make a report relating to the discharge, spillage, uncontrolled loss, seepage or filtration of gasoline shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars and the employer of such person may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars.

Sec. 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2000.

Approved June 1, 2000