2021 Legislative Session and Your Rivers


In its 2021 legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly approved several bills protecting our waters and addressing climate impacts. Summaries of a few bills of particular interest in our watershed are included below. A full list of bills passed as of June 11, 2021 Regular Session and bill details may be found at - https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/lbp/lobp.pdf


SB 927 AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE SEWAGE SPILL RIGHT-TO-KNOW STATUTE

To amend the sewage spill right-to-know statute to provide for timely notification to the public of sewage spills that may pose a threat to the public health or the environment. The bill will ensure real, timely public notice of any sewage spills into our rivers and will strengthen accountability to protect public health.


HB 6441 AN ACT CONCERNING CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION

The bill implements the Governor's budget recommendations to provide funding for climate resiliency planning so municipalities can implement infrastructure upgrades, stormwater retrofits and introduce more green infrastructure like rain gardens to help address growing storm and flood volumes.


SB 1037 AN ACT CONCERNING SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

This bill adds items covered by the provisions of the state's bottle bill program, increases redemption values and handling fees, develops incentives for unit-based pricing programs in municipalities and require certain dealers to have reverse vending machines at their stores. Expanded redemption and recycling of beverage containers will reduce the litter that finds its way to our rivers and river banks.


SB 837 AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF PERFLUOROALKYL OR POLYFLUOROALKYL SUBSTANCES IN CLASS B FIREFIGHTING FOAM

To prohibit the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS and establish a take-back program for such products. You may recall hearing multiple stories of this ‘forever chemical’ running off into our waterways after use. As of April 2021 the use of PFAS for any firefighting purpose is banned in the state. By October 2021, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection will develop or identify a take-back program for municipal sources of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances to ensure best management practices for the disposal of such substances.

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