DEP Proposes Regs for Spills and Discharges

Sep 16th, 2010 | By | Category: Pollution, Water

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection is proposing regulations that provide specific requirements for the reporting of releases, such as spills and discharges, to offer clarity for the regulated community. Connecticut law currently requires reporting of any spill or discharge of hazardous materials or hazardous wastes or petroleum or chemical solid, liquid or gaseous products which poses a potential threat to human health or the environment.  The law, however, does not define what constitutes a reportable release and what information needs to be reported in those cases.

“The proposed regulations result from the business community’s long-standing interest in greater definition about when and how discharges and spills must be reported,” DEP Commissioner Amey Marrella said.  “No one wants to see a spill or discharge occur – and Connecticut’s business work hard to prevent them from happening.  But when these types of incidents do occur, businesses need clear rules on what they must do to comply with Connecticut’s statutory reporting requirements.”

The public notice regarding the proposed regulations, which includes a link to the regulations, can be viewed at www.ct.gov/dep/publicnotices.

Details of the Proposed New Regulations

The proposed new regulations clarify the reporting requirements by providing specific notification procedures.  These procedures spell out the types of materials for which releases must be reported, based upon either the quantity of the released material, the threats posed as a result of the chemical characteristics of the material, or the combination of the quantity, chemical characteristics, and location venue (i.e., catch basin or storm or sanitary sewer) which may cause public safety concerns.

The proposed regulations will also identify specific details that must be reported as well as identifying exceptions and exemptions to reporting requirements.

In 2007, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) proposed legislation to clarify reporting standards for spills and discharges.  This led to discussions with DEP and the formation of an external advisory committee comprised of representatives of the regulated community.  The participation of committee members assisted in the development of the proposed regulations.

Process for Adopting the Regulations

DEP has scheduled an informational session on the proposed regulation for:

  • September 22, 2010
  • 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
  • DEP Headquarters – 79 Elm St., Hartford
  • Phoenix Auditorium -  5th Floor
  •  

A formal public hearing on the proposed regulation will be held:

  • October 5, 2010
  • 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; 1:30- 4:00- p.m.; and 6:00 p.m. until all comments are heard
  • DEP Headquarters – 79 Elm St., Hartford
  • Phoenix Auditorium -  5th Floor
  •  

Written comment may also be submitted through October 5, 2010 to:

  • David A. Sattler
  • DEP, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse
  • 79 Elm St.
  • Hartford, CT, 06106-5127
  •  

Following the public hearing and the close of the comment session, DEP will evaluate comments on the proposed regulations and then issue proposed final regulations.  The proposed final regulations must be approved by the General Assembly’s Regulations Review Committee before taking effect.

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