CEPA Statutes

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The following are Sections 22a-1 through 22a-1h (annotated) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Collectively, these sections are known as the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA). 

Sec. 22a-1. Policy of the state. The General Assembly finds that the growing population and expanding economy of the state have had a profound impact on the life-sustaining natural environment. The air, water, land and other natural resources, taken for granted since the settlement of the state, are now recognized as finite and precious. It is now understood that human activity must be guided by and in harmony with the system of relationships among the elements of nature. Therefore the General Assembly hereby declares that the policy of the state of Connecticut is to conserve, improve and protect its natural resources and environment and to control air, land and water pollution in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state. It shall further be the policy of the state to improve and coordinate the environmental plans, functions, powers and programs of the state, in cooperation with the federal government, regions, local governments, other public and private organizations and concerned individuals, and to manage the basic resources of air, land and water to the end that the state may fulfill its responsibility as trustee of the environment for the present and future generations.

Sec. 22a-1a. Declaration of policy: Coordination of state plans and programs. (a) In furtherance of and pursuant to sections 22a-1 and 22a-15, the General Assembly, recognizing the profound impact of man's activity on the interrelations of all components of the natural environment, particularly the profound influence of population growth, high-density urbanization, industrial expansion, resource exploitation, and new and expanding technological advances, and recognizing further the critical importance of restoring and maintaining environmental quality to the overall welfare and development of man, declares that it is the continuing policy of the state government, in cooperation with federal and local governments, and other concerned public and private organizations, to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Connecticut residents.

(b) In order to carry out the policy set forth in sections 22a-1a to 22a-1f, inclusive, it is the continuing responsibility of the state government to use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of state policy, to improve and coordinate state plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the state may: (1) Fulfill the responsibility of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations; (2) assure for all residents of the state safe, healthful, productive, and esthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings; (3) attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences; (4) preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our Connecticut heritage, and maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity and variety of individual choice; (5) achieve an ecological balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life's amenities; (6) enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources; and (7) practice conservation in the use of energy, maximize the use of energy efficient systems and minimize the environmental impact of energy production and use.

Sec. 22a-1b. Evaluation by state agencies of actions affecting the environment. Public scoping process. Environmental monitor. The General Assembly directs that, to the fullest extent possible:

(a) Each state department, institution or agency shall review its policies and practices to insure that they are consistent with the state's environmental policy as set forth in sections 22a-1 and 22a-1a.

(b) (1) Each sponsoring agency shall, prior to a decision to prepare an environmental impact evaluation pursuant to subsection (c) of this section for an action which may significantly affect the environment, conduct an early public scoping process.

(2) To initiate an early public scoping process, the sponsoring agency shall provide notice on a form that has been approved by the Council on Environmental Quality, which shall include, but not be limited to, the date, time and location of any proposed public scoping meeting and the duration of the public comment period pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection, to the council, the Office of Policy and Management and any other state agency whose activities may reasonably be expected to affect or be affected by the proposed action.

(3) Members of the public and any interested state agency representatives may submit comments on the nature and extent of any environmental impacts of the proposed action during the thirty days following the publication of the notice of the early public scoping process pursuant to this section.

(4) A public scoping meeting shall be held at the discretion of the sponsoring agency or if twenty-five persons or an association having not less than twenty-five persons requests such a meeting within ten days of the publication of the notice in the Environmental Monitor. A public scoping meeting shall be held not less than ten days following the notice of the proposed action in the Environmental Monitor. The public comment period shall remain open for at least five days following the meeting.

(5) A sponsoring agency shall provide the following at a public scoping meeting: (A) A description of the proposed action; (B) a description of the purpose and need of the proposed action; (C) a list of the criteria for a site for the proposed action; (D) a list of potential sites for the proposed action; (E) the resources of any proposed site for the proposed action; (F) the environmental limitations of such sites; (G) potential alternatives to the proposed action; and (H) any information the sponsoring agency deems necessary.

(6) Any agency submitting comments or participating in the public scoping meeting pursuant to this section shall include, to the extent practicable, but not be limited to, information about (A) the resources of any proposed site for the proposed action, (B) any plans of the commenting agency that may affect or be affected by the proposed action, (C) any permits or approvals that may be necessary for the proposed action, and (D) any appropriate measures that would mitigate the impact of the proposed action, including, but not limited to, recommendations as to preferred sites for the proposed action or alternatives for the proposed action that have not been identified by the sponsoring agency.

(7) The sponsoring agency shall consider any comments received pursuant to this section or any information obtained during the public scoping meeting in selecting the proposed actions to be addressed in the environmental impact evaluation and shall evaluate in its environmental impact evaluation any substantive issues raised during the early public scoping process that pertain to a proposed action or site or alternative actions or sites.

(c) Each state department, institution or agency responsible for the primary recommendation or initiation of actions which may significantly affect the environment shall in the case of each such proposed action make a detailed written evaluation of its environmental impact before deciding whether to undertake or approve such action. All such environmental impact evaluations shall be detailed statements setting forth the following: (1) A description of the proposed action which shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the purpose and need of the proposed action, and, in the case of a proposed facility, a description of the infrastructure needs of such facility, including, but not limited to, parking, water supply, wastewater treatment and the square footage of the facility; (2) the environmental consequences of the proposed action, including cumulative, direct and indirect effects which might result during and subsequent to the proposed action; (3) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided and irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources should the proposal be implemented; (4) alternatives to the proposed action, including the alternative of not proceeding with the proposed action and, in the case of a proposed facility, a list of all the sites controlled by or reasonably available to the sponsoring agency that would meet the stated purpose of such facility; (5) an evaluation of the proposed action's consistency and each alternative's consistency with the state plan of conservation and development, an evaluation of each alternative including, to the extent practicable, whether it avoids, minimizes or mitigates environmental impacts, and, where appropriate, a description of detailed mitigation measures proposed to minimize environmental impacts, including, but not limited to, where appropriate, a site plan; (6) an analysis of the short term and long term economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of the proposed action; (7) the effect of the proposed action on the use and conservation of energy resources; and (8) a description of the effects of the proposed action on sacred sites or archaeological sites of state or national importance. In the case of an action which affects existing housing, the evaluation shall also contain a detailed statement analyzing (A) housing consequences of the proposed action, including direct and indirect effects which might result during and subsequent to the proposed action by income group as defined in section 8-37aa and by race, and (B) the consistency of the housing consequences with the state's consolidated plan for housing and community development prepared pursuant to section 8-37t. As used in this section, “sacred sites” and “archaeological sites” have the same meanings as provided in section 10-381.

(d) (1) The Council on Environmental Quality shall publish a document at least once a month to be called the Environmental Monitor which shall include any notices the council receives pursuant to sections 22a-1b to 22a-1i, inclusive, and shall include notice of the opportunity to request a public scoping meeting. Filings of such notices received by five o’clock p.m. on the first day of each month shall be published in the Environmental Monitor that is issued not later than ten days thereafter.

(2) The Council on Environmental Quality shall post the Environmental Monitor on its Internet site and distribute a subscription or a copy of the Environmental Monitor by electronic mail to any state agency, municipality or person upon request. The council shall also provide the Environmental Monitor to the clerk of each municipality for posting in its town hall.

(e) Any state department, institution or agency that conducts an environmental impact evaluation pursuant to subsection (c) of this section may enter into a contract with a person for the preparation of such evaluation, provided such department, institution or agency: (1) Guides such person in the preparation of such evaluation, (2) participates in the preparation of such evaluation, (3) independently reviews such evaluation prior to submitting such evaluation for comment pursuant to section 22a-1d, and (4) assures that any third party responsible for conducting any activity that is the subject of such evaluation is not a party to such contract. Such department, institution or agency may require any such third party responsible for conducting any activity that is the subject of such evaluation to remit a fee to such department, institution or agency in an amount sufficient to pay for the cost of hiring a person to prepare such evaluation in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

Sec. 22a-1c. Actions which may significantly affect the environment. Definition. As used in sections 22a-1 to 22a-1i, inclusive, “actions which may significantly affect the environment” means individual activities or a sequence of planned activities proposed to be undertaken by state departments, institutions or agencies, or funded in whole or in part by the state, which could have a major impact on the state's land, water, air, historic structures and landmarks as defined in section 10-410, existing housing, or other environmental resources, or could serve short term to the disadvantage of long term environmental goals. Such actions shall include but not be limited to new projects and programs of state agencies and new projects supported by state contracts and grants, but shall not include (1) emergency measures undertaken in response to an immediate threat to public health or safety; or (2) activities in which state agency participation is ministerial in nature, involving no exercise of discretion on the part of the state department, institution or agency.  

Sec. 22a-1d. Review of environmental impact evaluations. Notification to municipalities and agencies. (a) Environmental impact evaluations and a summary thereof, including any negative findings shall be submitted for comment and review to the Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Office of Policy and Management, the Department of Housing in the case of a proposed action that affects existing housing, and other appropriate agencies, and to the town clerk of each municipality affected thereby, and shall be made available to the public for inspection and comment at the same time. The sponsoring agency shall publish forthwith a notice of the availability of its environmental impact evaluation and summary in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality at least once a week for three consecutive weeks and in the Environmental Monitor. The sponsoring agency preparing an environmental impact evaluation shall hold a public hearing on the evaluation if twenty-five persons or an association having not less than twenty-five persons requests such a hearing within ten days of the publication of the notice in the Environmental Monitor.

(b) All comments received by the sponsoring agency and the sponsoring agency's responses to such comments shall be forwarded to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management.

(c) All comments and responses so forwarded to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall be available for public inspection.

Sec. 22a-1e. Review and determination by Office of Policy and Management. The Office of Policy and Management shall review all environmental impact evaluations together with the comments and responses thereon, and shall make a written determination as to whether such evaluation satisfies the requirements of this part and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, which determination shall be made public and forwarded to the agency, department or institution preparing such evaluation. Such determination may require the revision of any evaluation found to be inadequate. Any member of the Office of Policy and Management which has prepared an evaluation and submitted it for review shall not participate in the decision of the office on such evaluation. The sponsoring agency shall take into account all public and agency comments when making its final decision on the proposed action.

Sec. 22a-1f. Exceptions. (a) Environmental impact evaluations need not be prepared for projects for which environmental statements have previously been prepared pursuant to other state or federal laws or regulations, provided all such statements shall be considered and reviewed as if they were prepared under sections 22a-1a to 22a-1f, inclusive.

(b) Environmental impact evaluations shall not be required for the extension of the project otherwise known as the Connecticut River Interceptor Sewer Project, or a project, as defined in subdivision (16) of section 10a-109c, which involves the conversion of an existing structure for educational rather than office or commercial use.

(c) A constituent unit of the state system of higher education may provide for environmental impact evaluations for any priority higher education facility project, as defined in section 4b-55, or for any higher education project involving an expenditure of not more than two million dollars, by (1) reviewing and filing the evaluation for such project with the Office of Policy and Management for its review pursuant to section 22a-1e, or (2) including such project in a cumulative environmental impact evaluation approved by the Office of Policy and Management.

(d) Notwithstanding section 22a-1b, any environmental impact evaluation completed for proposed improvements for the Rentschler Field Development shall be deemed to include any industrial reinvestment project, as defined in subdivision (8) of subsection (a) of section 32-4m, including, but not limited to, any such planned or proposed project, any segment of such project and any state-certified industrial reinvestment project, as defined in subdivision (12) of subsection (a) of section 32-4m.

(e) Environmental impact evaluations shall not be required for actions in furtherance of the implementation of any approved program, as defined in 15 CFR Part 700, for the construction of nuclear submarines if such approved program has been given the priority rating of DX in accordance with said part on or before the effective date of this section under the United States Department of Defense Defense Priorities and Allocations System.

Sec. 22a-1g. Regulations. Within six months of October 1, 1977, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall adopt regulations to implement the provisions of sections 22a-1a to 22a-1f, inclusive. Such regulations shall include: (1) Specific criteria for determining whether or not a proposed action may significantly affect the environment; (2) provision for enumerating actions or classes of actions which are subject to the requirements of this part; (3) guidelines for the preparation of environmental impact evaluations, including the content, scope and form of the evaluations and the environmental, social and economic factors to be considered in such evaluations; and (4) procedures for timely and thorough state agency and public review and comment on all environmental impact evaluations required by this part and for such other matters as may be needed to assure effective public participation and efficient implementations of this part.

Sec. 22a-1h. Environmental impact evaluations. Until the adoption of regulations in accordance with the provisions of section 22a-1g, each state agency, department and institution shall prepare environmental impact evaluations in accordance with sections 22a-1b, 22a-1c and 22a-1d.



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