Climate change, recycling, environmental measures lead PFAS |
The 2021 legislative session focused on a range of emerging environmental issues, including recycling, waste management and PFAS.
The Legislature’s Environment Committee has sought to combat rising costs of transporting and handling waste with a series of bills, including updating state laws on bottle buyback. .
SB 1037 passed the State House on a 105-42 vote on June 3, a day after the Senate approved it 33-1. The law project:
- Increases bottle deposit from five cents to 10 cents effective January 1, 2024.
- Expands the types of beverage containers to be included in beverage containers for cider, vegetable water or herbal infused beverages, juice, tea, coffee, kombucha, and sports or energy drinks.
- As of October 1, 2021, creates a surcharge of five cents on alcohol containers of 50 ml or less (nips) which will then be returned to the municipality to cover the cost of environmental efforts
- Increases handling charges based on container type and gradually reduces the amount of unclaimed funds deposited to the General Fund to 45% by FY 2026, and allows distributors to keep the rest.
- Generally requires some retailers, as of October 1, 2021, to install and maintain at least two reverse vending machines at their place of business.
The legislature has approved additional bills related to recycling and waste management that are now awaiting the governor’s signature, including:
- SB 928: Requires that no later than December 1, 2022, the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, in consultation with retailers, manufacturers, state recycling companies and regional organizations such that the Northeast Recycling Council make recommendations to the Governor and the Environment Committee for recycled content requirements for products sold in the state and for multi-state coordination in the development of such recycled content standards.
- HB 6496: Enables DEEP to establish a pilot program to beneficially use as backfill certain reclaimed materials generated in Connecticut that may contain very small amounts of solid waste. Under the bill, the Commissioner can authorize four projects using these materials, subject to certain conditions, including that there is no danger or threat to human health, safety or the environment.
- HB 6503: Defines the requirements for the separation of organic sources and the siting of anaerobic digestion facilities in order to increase the waste management infrastructure of the State. materials separated from organic sources. DEEP is required to establish a voluntary pilot program for municipalities seeking to separate source-separated organics and the Commissioner is again authorized to pass regulations on the specification of compost from source-separated organics and mixed municipal solid waste.
A top priority for DEEP was to address the growing threat of climate change, with the legislature adopting the following action:
- HB 6441: Allows municipalities to create their own stormwater boards. The bill limits charges for agricultural, forest or open land, or properties owned by state or local governments and their agencies, to impervious surfaces that drain into a separate municipal storm sewer system and requires a partial reduction. fees for property owners who use certain stormwater management best practices. The bill expands the powers of municipal flood and erosion control councils to include flood prevention and climate resilience and allows municipalities to enter into agreements to form joint councils. It also expands the functions of the Connecticut Green Bank to include the development of separate programs to finance and otherwise support environmental infrastructure and establishes an Environmental Infrastructure Fund within the bank.
The committee looked at PFAS — perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances. PFAS have many industrial applications and have been widely used in consumer products since the 1940s.
SB 837, which prohibits the use of Class B fire-fighting foam containing an intentionally added PFAS in any amount for training or testing purposes, with few exceptions, was passed by the Senate and House.
The bill was amended to also include a ban on the use of PFAS intentionally introduced into food packaging by December 31, 2023.
All new packaging must be approved by DEEP through its certification process.
While the CBIA recognizes the risk to human health and the environment, lawmakers need to deepen the science behind PFAS, given that not all PFAS pose the same risk to human health and the environment and are an integral part many production processes.
Failure of measurements
The following bills did not obtain the approval of both houses:
- SB 884: The Transportation Climate Initiative has enabled DEEP to create a cap-and-trade program on transportation fossil fuels. Although this bill did not leave the ordinary legislative session, the Speaker of the House indicated that it could be included in the program of execution of the budget in extraordinary session.
- SB 931: Demands that Commissioner DEEP examine the impacts of adopting California standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles in Connecticut. If the commissioner determines that it would be beneficial to achieve the state’s objectives, the commissioner may promulgate and implement regulations provided that at least five other states, including one in the Northeast, have them. made.
ACAA applauds committee leadership for not taking action HB 5751, which would make building solar power plants in Connecticut much heavier as the state seeks to increase renewable energy sources.
For more information contact Ashley Zane of CBIA (860.244.1169) | @ AshleyZane9.