OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 88 (File 197, as amended by Senate “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PUBLIC'S RIGHT TO KNOW OF A SEWAGE SPILL.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) commissioner to post the following information on DEEP's website:

1. on and after July 1, 2013, a state map showing combined sewer overflows expected to happen during storms and

2. on and after July 1, 2014, notice of unanticipated sewage spills and state waters that have chronic and persistent sewage contamination that pose a threat to public health, as determined by the DEEP commissioner in consultation with the public health commissioner.

The bill also requires the DEEP commissioner, when developing the notice, to consult with (1) the public health commissioner, (2) sewage treatment plant or collection system operators, and (3) state and local environmental and health agencies.

*Senate Amendment “A” makes DEEP's online reporting requirements ongoing.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOW MAP

With respect to the combined sewer overflow map, DEEP's website may include the (1) overflow location, anticipated duration, and extent; (2) reasonable public health, safety, or environmental concerns; and (3) public safety precautions that should be taken.

The bill defines a “combined sewer” as a structure that is designed to (1) carry both sanitary and storm sewage and (2) allow the overflow of combined, untreated sewage into state waters during periods of high flows.

SEWAGE NOTICE

With respect to notice of unanticipated sewage spills and state waters that have chronic and persistent sewage contamination that poses a threat to public health, DEEP's website may include, as best determined from a reported sewage spill incident (presumably in the context of an unanticipated spill), the:

1. estimated discharge volume;

2. extent to which the discharge was treated;

3. incident date and time;

4. discharge location;

5. estimated or actual time the discharge ended;

6. discharge's impacted geographic area;

7. steps taken to contain the discharge;

8. reasonable public health, safety, welfare, or environmental concerns; and

9. public safety precautions that should be taken.

The bill defines a “sewage spill” as the diversion of wastes from any portion of a sewage treatment plant or collection system in Connecticut that reasonably initiates public health, safety, welfare, or environmental concerns. A “sewage treatment plant or collection system” means a sewage treatment plant, water pollution control facility, related pumping station, collection system, or other public sewage works.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

29

Nay

0

(03/14/2012)