OLR Bill Analysis

SB 220 (File 19, as amended by Senate "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING NAVIGATION, COASTAL ACCESS AND CLEAN MARINAS

SUMMARY:

This bill gives priority status for state harbor improvement grants to marinas meeting state environmental standards. The grants can be used to fund sediment, dredging, or dredge disposal projects. Funds for the grants come from the Department of Transportation's (DOT) harbor improvement program, under which DOT can undertake harbor improvement projects on the state's behalf or provide grants to municipalities for such improvements.

The bill allows DOT to undertake sediment, dredging, and dredge disposal projects on a marina's behalf or provide grants to marinas, other entities, and federal agencies for these and other harbor improvement projects. A marina qualifies for priority status and an additional 10% grant if it participates in the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (DEEP) voluntary Connecticut Clean Marina Program and its project meets DOT criteria and have obtained all necessary permits and certifications. The marina retains its priority status until July 1, 2017, or the date DEEP certifies the marina as clean, whichever is later.

*Senate Amendment “A” (1) changes the funding source for the grants from DEEP's Long Island Sound Cleanup account to DOT's harbor improvement program and the funding mechanism from a 40% grant to priority status for harbor improvement grants plus a 10% additional grant and (2) removes a repayment requirement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

CONNECTICUT CLEAN MARINA PROGRAM

Under the bill, marinas qualify for priority status for DOT harbor improvement grants if they participate in DEEP's voluntary clean marina program, under which DEEP certifies a marina's participation based on its practices. It certifies the marina as a “clean marina” if it is exceeding the standards for regulatory compliance by minimizing pollution from mechanical activities, cleaning, painting and fiberglass repair, hauling and storing boats, fueling, and facility management.

Currently, 29 marinas are certified facilities and 20 have pledged to take part in the program. DEEP is not now accepting pledges or certifying marinas for the program.

HARBOR IMPROVEMENT FUNDS

The bill authorizes grants for certain marina projects under two DOT harbor improvement programs. One program allows DOT to undertake these and other harbor improvement projects if they improve the infrastructure and the economy. The other program provides grants to municipalities for harbor improvements.

The bill opens this program to marinas, other entities, and federal agencies, and grants marinas priority status for funds under both programs for sediment, dredging, and dredge disposal projects. It also qualifies marinas for an additional grant equal to 10% of a project's cost.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Commerce Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

16

Nay

0

(03/01/2012)

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

22

Nay

0

(04/16/2012)

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

51

Nay

0

(04/26/2012)

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

19

Nay

0

(05/04/2012)