The 2015 regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly ended at midnight June 3 without passage of Senate Bill 941. As previously reported in our Connecticut Law Tribune article "Debate Continues Over Environmental Hazard Statute," Senate Bill 941 proposed a one-year extension of the July 1 effective date for certain revisions to Connecticut's Significant Environmental Hazard (SEH) statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-6u. The bill reached the Senate calendar, but ultimately failed since no action was taken before the close of the regular session.
Since there will be no extension of the effective date, significant amendments to the SEH statute, originally enacted in 2013 pursuant to Public Act No. 13-308, will go into effect July 1. These amendments include lowered thresholds for triggering a property owner's obligation to notify the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) of significant environmental hazards as defined in § 22a-6u.
The lowering of SEH notification thresholds creates a real potential for increased SEH notifications. The DEEP opposed Senate Bill 941. It is uncertain how the DEEP, with a current backlog of open SEH notifications and limited internal resources, will manage and timely respond to these notifications. By statute, the DEEP's response includes the issuance of a certificate of compliance to close out a SEH notification.