PA 13-202—HB 6528

Commerce Committee

Transportation Committee

Appropriations Committee

Planning and Development Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING CLEAN MARINAS

SUMMARY: This act increases, by 10%, the Department of Transportation (DOT) harbor improvement grant amount for, and gives priority to, eligible projects proposed by “certified clean marinas. ” These are facilities (1) committed to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (DEEP) voluntary clean marina program and (2) trying to exceed DEEP's regulatory compliance standards.

Prior law allowed the DOT commissioner to enter into a contract with a municipality, acting through its harbor improvement agency, for a harbor improvement project grant according to a DOT-approved harbor improvement plan. The act eliminates the need for a (1) municipality to act through a harbor improvement agency and (2) harbor improvement plan. Instead, it allows a municipality, or any federal or state agency acting on its behalf, to enter into a harbor improvement project grant contract with DOT, if the DOT commissioner approves the project.

By law, the DOT commissioner must submit the grant application to the DEEP commissioner for review, and the DEEP commissioner must report his findings on the application, in writing, to the DOT commissioner.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013

CERTIFIED CLEAN MARINAS

Covered Projects

Under the act, an eligible project includes any part of a sediment, dredging, or dredge disposal activity (1) for which the marina has received all necessary permits and certificates and (2) that complies with state laws on harbor improvement projects and grants.

Grant Amounts and Priority Ranking

Under the act, certified clean marinas receive priority ranking and are eligible for an additional grant equal to 10% of a project's costs. They remain eligible for priority ranking until July 1, 2018, or five years from the date of their most recent “certification,” whichever is later.

DEEP's voluntary Connecticut Clean Marina program requires a marina to at least meet certain legal and regulatory environmental standards for DEEP to certify it as a Connecticut Clean Marina. Under the program, these marinas must, among other things, minimize pollution from (1) mechanical activities; (2) cleaning, painting, and fiberglass repair; (3) hauling and storing boats; (4) fueling; and (5) facility management. DEEP certifies a marina as a pledged clean marina if it commits to becoming a certified clean marina within one year.

However, under the act, it appears that a marina committed to the program must only be engaged in efforts to exceed these standards to be certified. Thus, it is not clear at what point certification takes place or when the five-year priority ranking begins.

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