(a) The commissioner shall adopt, amend or repeal regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, as are necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of sections 22a-134pp to 22a-134xx, inclusive.
Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 22a-134tt
- commissioner: means the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection or his or her designated agent. See Connecticut General Statutes 22a-2
- Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
- Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
(b) The commissioner, or his or her designee, shall co-chair and convene, in conjunction with the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, or his or her designee, a working group in the department for the purpose of providing advice and feedback for regulations to be adopted by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of this section. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, or his or her designee, shall serve as co-chair of such working group. The membership of the working group shall include: (1) The chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment and commerce; (2) environmental transaction attorneys; (3) commercial real estate brokers; (4) licensed environmental professionals; (5) representatives from the Connecticut Manufacturers’ Collaborative; (6) representatives of environmental advocacy groups; (7) representatives of the Environmental Professionals Organization of Connecticut; (8) municipal representatives; (9) representatives from the brownfields working group established pursuant to § 32-770; (10) representatives of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and the Connecticut Council of Small Towns; (11) representatives of the Council on Environmental Quality; and (12) any other interested members of the public designated by the commissioner. The commissioner shall convene monthly meetings of such working group until such time as regulations are adopted pursuant to this section.
(c) Such regulations shall include, but need not be limited to, provisions regarding (1) reporting requirements for any releases required to be reported pursuant to sections 22a-134qq to 22a-134tt, inclusive, including, but not limited to, reportable quantities and concentrations above which a release shall be reported in accordance with said sections; (2) procedures and deadlines for remediation, including public participation; (3) standards for remediation for any release to the land and waters of the state, including environmental use restrictions, as defined in § 22a-133o; (4) verification and commissioner’s audit of remediation; (5) supervision of remediation based on pollutant type, concentration or volume, or based on the imminence of harm to public health; and (6) any required fees.
(d) In any regulation adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall specify tiers of releases based on risk, as determined by the commissioner, and that, based on the tier to which such release is assigned, certain releases may be remediated under the supervision of a licensed environmental professional, without the supervision of the commissioner, and may be remediated without being verified. Tiers of releases shall be specified based on: (1) The existence, source, nature and extent of a release; (2) the nature and extent of danger to public health, safety, welfare and the environment, both immediate and over time; (3) the magnitude and complexity of the actions necessary to assess, contain or remove the release; (4) the extent to which the proposed remediation will not remove the release, in its entirety, from the land and waters of the state but will instead leave behind pollutants to be managed using a risk mitigation approach authorized by regulations adopted pursuant to this section; and (5) the extent to which the oversight of the commissioner is necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of sections 22a-134qq to 22a-134tt, inclusive.
(e) (1) In any regulation adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall specify the types of releases to be reported and the timeframe for such reporting. When specifying the types of releases that shall be reported and the timeframes for reporting releases, the commissioner shall consider the factors specified in subdivisions (1), (2), (3) and (5) of subsection (b) of this section.
(2) Such regulations may exempt the requirement for a report if remediation can be accomplished through containment, removal or mitigation of a release upon discovery and in a manner and by a timeframe specified in the regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, provided such regulations shall specify that certain records be maintained by the person performing a cleanup and a schedule for the retention of such records.
(3) Such regulations may require any such report be made in a timeframe commensurate with the severity of the risk posed by such release, with the shortest reporting time corresponding to releases that pose an imminent or substantial threat to human health or the environment, including, but not limited to, residential areas, parks and schools, or releases that exist near drinking water supplies or that present a higher risk to human health or the environment. Such regulations shall permit a longer timeframe for a report of a release that does not pose an imminent or significant threat to human health or the environment.
(4) Such regulations shall provide for a process to amend or retract release reports that were reported in error.
(5) No release required to be reported by regulations adopted pursuant to § 22a-450 shall also be required to be reported by regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.
(f) In establishing standards for remediation adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall (1) consider the standards for remediation set forth in regulations adopted pursuant to § 22a-133k; (2) give preference to cleanup methods that are permanent, if feasible; (3) provide flexibility, when appropriate, for licensed environmental professionals to establish and implement risk-based alternative cleanup standards developed in consideration of site use, exposure assumptions, geologic and hydrogeologic conditions and physical and chemical properties of each substance that comprise a release; (4) consider any factor the commissioner deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, groundwater classification of the site; and (5) provide for standards of remediation less stringent than those required for residential land use for polluted properties that (A) are located in areas classified as GB or GC under the standards adopted by the commissioner for classification of groundwater, (B) have historically been used for industrial or commercial purposes, and (C) are not subject to an order issued by the commissioner regarding such release, consent order or stipulated judgment regarding such release, provided an environmental use restriction is executed for any such property subsequent to the remedial action, in accordance with the provisions of § 22a-133aa, and such regulations specify the types of industrial or commercial land uses to which any such property may be put subsequent to such remedial action.
(g) The regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section regarding audits shall:
(1) Authorize the commissioner to audit any verification;
(2) Set goals for the number of audits to be conducted. Such goals shall be consistent with the requirements of § 22a-134uu and shall, at a minimum, set a goal of auditing twenty per cent of verifications rendered for releases from at least one tier and set a goal of auditing verifications rendered for releases from the other tiers at a frequency that is based on the number of verifications submitted for releases in each tier;
(3) Prioritize the auditing of higher risk releases that may jeopardize human health or the environment;
(4) Utilize multiple levels of auditing. The levels of auditing may include:
(A) Screening documents or forms submitted to the department;
(B) Conducting a thorough evaluation of the verification, including, but not limited to, inspecting a property or requesting additional supporting information regarding an investigation or remediation of a release; and
(C) Auditing focused on specific issues identified in screening documents or forms, conditions specific to a particular release or issues that present a higher risk to human health or the environment; and
(5) Provide certain timeframes for commencing audits that shall be no later than one year after verification and provide opportunities to reopen a remediation when: (A) The commissioner has reason to believe that a verification was obtained through the submittal of materially inaccurate or erroneous information, or otherwise misleading information material to the verification, or that misrepresentations were made in connection with the submittal of the verification, (B) a verification is submitted pursuant to an order of the commissioner, in accordance with § 22a-134ss, (C) any post-verification monitoring, or operations and maintenance, is required as part of a verification and which is not completed, (D) a verification that relies upon an environmental land use restriction was not recorded on the land records of the municipality in which such land is located in accordance with § 22a-133o and applicable regulations, (E) the commissioner determines that there has been a violation of the provisions of sections 22a-134qq to 22a-134tt, inclusive, or (F) the commissioner determines that information exists indicating that the remediation may have failed to prevent a substantial threat to public health or the environment.
(h) In adopting the regulations prescribed by this section, the commissioner shall incorporate the requirements of other cleanup provisions of the general statutes to assure consistency, clarity and efficiency in the application of remediation requirements contained in the general statutes and other applicable provisions of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies by the commissioner and members of the regulated community.