Solid Waste Change of Direction: “Materials
Innovation and Recycling Authority”
creates a “Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority” (MIRA) as successor to
the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority (CRRA). The bill sets ambitious goals
for solid waste management and recycling – most notably, to increase the rate
of recycling and reuse to at least 60% of the solid waste stream, as compared
with the current level of 25%.
Here are the major elements of Public Act 14-94:
- Section 1 creates the “Materials Innovation and
Recycling Authority” (MIRA) as successor to the Connecticut Resource Recovery
- Section 2: By July 1, 2016, the Department of
Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is to revise the state-wide solid
waste management plan to include a strategy to divert, through source
reduction, reuse and recycling, not less than 60% of solid waste generated in
Connecticut after January 1, 2026. This represents a significant increase over
the current 25% recycling target. DEEP is to submit the revised plan to the
General Assembly’s joint Committee on the Environment by February 1, 2016.
- Section 3: By January 1, 2016, DEEP is to issue
a request for proposals from providers of solid waste management services to
redevelop the Connecticut Solid Waste System (a/k/a “Mid-Connecticut”) Project.
DEEP will select three respondents to conduct a feasibility study in
collaboration with MIRA. Respondents will deliver feasibility studies by
January 1, 2017, and final proposals by July 1, 2017. DEEP will report on the
proposals to the Environment Committee by September 15, 2017, which may conduct
public hearings. By December 31, 2017, DEEP will select one proposal and direct
MIRA to enter into an agreement with the selected proposer, considering
consistency with state-wide strategies and goals regarding recycling and solid
waste management, the interests of municipalities under contract with MIRA, the
respondent’s investment in the project, potential positive effects on economic
development, public comments, and other factors DEEP deems relevant to
redevelopment of the project.
- Section 4: Establishes the Recycle CT Foundation,
a nonstock, nonprofit state-chartered foundation, to conduct research and
education to increase rates of recycling and reuse, and to receive and
administer gifts and grants to support its activities. Establishes an
eleven-member Recycle CT Foundation Council consisting of the commissioners of
DEEP and the Department of Economic and Community Development, five members
appointed by the Governor, and four members appointed by the President pro tem
of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and the minority leaders of the House
and Senate respectively.
- Section 5: Amends the purposes of “the
authority” to include development of new industries, technologies and
commercial enterprises on property owned by the Authority based on resource
recovery, recycling, reuse and treatment or processing of solid waste.
- Section 16: A permitted solid waste handling
facility may add up to seventy-five tons per day of mattresses and items
designated by DEEP for recycling (not including storage batteries and waste
oil) without permit modification, if doing so does not exceed the facility’s
permitted storage capacity. The facility need only notify DEEP of the addition.
In addition, PA 14-94 makes subtle
but significant changes to a number of statutes defining the powers of “the
Authority.” Among these: limits staff of MIRA to forty-five personnel; deletes
power to appoint state and local advisory councils (section 7), eliminates
Authority’s power to acquire property by eminent domain (section 15).
with the waste management provisions of the bill, Section 9 provides energy
incentives to municipalities to encourage participation in expanded recycling.
It expands the state electric power purchasing pool to include municipalities
that elect to participate, and authorizes DEEP to make grants to municipalities
that both join the pool and commit to achieving the state diversion, recycling
and reuse goals. It also mandates that DEEP will, on or before January 1, 2020,
solicit proposals to supply electricity to the pool. For any solicitation of up
to three hundred seventy thousand megawatt hours per year, such proposals shall
include at least 60% Class II renewable energy from trash-to-energy facilities
constructed before January 1, 2013. Selection criteria for such proposals
include price, facility practices in furtherance of reuse and recycling goals,
the percentage of trash-to-energy in the fuel mix, and the number of included
trash-to-energy facilities. This section also requires DEEP to select, also on
or before January 1, 2020, proposals that satisfy the foregoing requirements
for periods of not less than five years.
This Alert is part of Pullman & Comley's report on environmental legislation in the 2014 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. The main article in this report can be found here.
P. McCormack, based in the Bridgeport office of Pullman & Comley,
practices in the areas of environmental law and litigation. He is the Vice
Chair and Legislative Liaison for the Environmental Section of the Connecticut
Bar Association. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2014 Pullman & Comley, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Back to Top