PA 09-211—sSB 995

Environment Committee

Judiciary Committee

Energy and Technology Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING INDIVIDUAL AUTHORIZATIONS FOR BENEFICIAL USE OF SOLID WASTE

SUMMARY: This act allows the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) commissioner to issue, when certain conditions are met, (1) a general permit for the beneficial use of hazardous waste and (2) individual authorizations for the beneficial use of solid waste. Under prior law she could issue a general permit for the beneficial use of solid waste but could not issue such a permit for the reuse of hazardous waste. Beneficial use is the use or reuse of processed municipal waste for a purpose that does not harm or threaten public health, safety, welfare, or the environment.

The act also makes a technical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

BENEFICIAL USE AUTHORIZATION

Individual Authorizations

The act allows the commissioner to issue an individual authorization for the beneficial use of solid waste in manufacturing, or as an effective substitute for a commercial product, if the authorization:

1. does not allow an activity for which DEP has issued an individual or general permit,

2. is consistent with federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements, and

3. the commissioner finds that the solid waste can be reused without harming or threatening harm to public health, safety, or the environment.

The commissioner must establish guidelines for these authorizations to protect public heath, safety, and the environment, and notify the public on the DEP's website of the guidelines and subsequent revisions. She must give the public 30 days from publication of the notice to submit written comments, and must post a response to these comments on the website.

A person seeking an authorization must supply the information the commissioner requires on a DEP form. The commissioner may require him or her to pay an application fee of up to $5,000. But municipalities do not have to pay the fee.

Authorization Procedures

The act requires, regardless of solid waste facility permitting laws and regulations, that certain procedures apply to the (1) issuance or renewal of an authorization or (2) modification of an authorization, if the modification is requested by the authorization holder.

The commissioner must publish notice of her intent to issue an authorization on the DEP website. This apparently also applies to authorization renewals or modifications. The notice must include:

1. the applicant's name and mailing address;

2. the address of the proposed activity;

3. the application number;

4. the tentative decision on the application;

5. the type of authorization sought, citing the applicable law or regulation;

6. a description of the location of the proposed activity and any affected natural resources;

7. the name, address, and telephone number of a person representing the applicant from whom people may obtain copies of the application;

8. the length of time available for the public to submit comments to the commissioner; and

9. any additional information the commissioner believes necessary to comply with applicable state law or regulations or the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, or RCRA.

The commissioner must allow the public to submit written comments for 30 days following publication of the notice. The commissioner must post her response to any comment received on the DEP website. She may approve or deny the authorization after reviewing the submitted information. Any authorization she issues must clearly define the activity it covers, and may include conditions or requirements the commissioner believes appropriate, including (1) operating and maintenance requirements, (2) management practices, (3) reporting requirements, and (4) a specified term.

The commissioner may suspend or revoke an authorization, and may modify an authorization if the authorization holder does not seek modification, according to the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act and DEP's rules of practice.

BACKGROUND

Federal Environmental Laws

The Clean Water Act (33 USC 1251) and the Clean Air Act (42 USC 7401) regulate the discharge of pollutants to water and air, respectively. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 USC 6901) is the primary federal law governing the disposal of solid and hazardous waste.

Hazardous Waste

By law, "hazardous waste" means any waste material that may pose a present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly disposed of, treated, stored, transported, or otherwise managed, including (A) hazardous waste identified in accordance with Section 3001 of RCRA (42 USC 6901 et seq. ), (B) hazardous waste identified by DEP regulation, and (C) polychlorinated biphenyls in concentrations greater than 50 parts per million. The term excludes scrap tires or by-product material, source material or special nuclear material, as defined by law (CGS 22a-115(1)).

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