The Facts about 2013 Legislation Impacting CRRA
SB 1081 would:
• Require the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection to “initiate one or more audits” of CRRA in consultation
with OPM to examine subjects “including but not limited to”
† Any or all previous audits of CRRA;
† CRRA’s financial condition, short- and long-term liabilities and cash-flow projections for three years;
† CRRA’s operations, including HR, facilities use, IT, and identification of potential operating efficiencies;
† CRRA’s internal controls, financial management and risk management practices; and “any transaction of said authority.”
‡ CRRA would pay the cost for these audits up to $500,000, with a report to the governor and legislature due Oct. 30, 2013.
• Create a Resources Recovery Task Force to
† Review renewable-energy-credit statutes and recommend whether they should be modified;
† Analyze the financial status of the state’s trash-to-energy plants and recommend improvement, including whether bilateral
agreements would improve their long-term financial health; and
† Recommend whether TTE plants should be defined as “electric municipal utilit[ies]” per CGS §16-1.
† The task force would include
‡ four “municipal official[s] or representative[s]” of organizations that represent municipalities appointed by legislative leaders;
‡ four gubernatorial appointees who are either representatives of trash-to-energy plants or have experience in energy
‡ a representative of trash haulers and one additional person with energy-procurement experience appointed by legislative
† The task force would report to the legislature by Dec. 15, 2013.
• Require CRRA to develop a transition plan for achieving a sustainable business model OR dissolving CRRA and disposing
of its assets. The plan must with the report to include
† The benefits and consequences of
‡ closing or selling the Hartford trash-to-energy plant,
‡ converting it into “an alternative use such as a solid waste management facility;”
‡ selling CRRA’s assets; and
‡ reductions in expenses, including management fees, labor costs, contract obligations and legal fees and whether they
could be eliminated or mitigated;
† Operational requirements of CRRA’s other facilities;
† CRRA’s statewide role and how the transition plan affects that role; and
† Post-closure landfill liabilities.
† CRRA would be required to deliver its plan to the governor and legislature by Nov. 30, 2013.
HB 6704 and HB 6706, the state budget and budget implementer bills:
Section 99 of the budget bill allows for the state to sweep “up to $35 million from the resources of the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority." The exact amount, to be negotiated, would come from CRRA's reserves dedicated to paying for post-closure monitoring and maintenance of five landfills for which CRRA is responsible.
The budget bill’s fiscal note says this will “result in an on-going cost of approximately $1 million annually” to DEEP, as the state will, according to Section 236 of the implementer, "assume all legally required obligations resulting from the closure of the landfills located in Hartford, Ellington, Waterbury, Wallingford and Shelton.". The implementer says DEEP and CRRA ”shall enter into a memorandum of understanding requiring" DEEP to effect the transfer of those liabilities and responsibilities.
Seven new board members appointed:
The legislature confirmed the appointments of seven new board members:
• Richard J. Barlow, first selectman of the Town of Canton (appointed by the Senate minority leader, Sen. John McKinney; confirmed
• Joel Freedman of Glastonbury (appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy; confirmed March 6)
• Scott Shanley, general manager of the Town of Manchester (appointed by the Senate president pro tempore, Sen. Donald
Williams; confirmed March 6)
• John E. Adams, first selectman of the Town of Granby (appointed the House minority leader,Rep. Lawrence Cafero; confirmed
• Pedro E. Segarra, mayor of the City of Hartford (appointed by the speaker of the House, Rep. J. Brendan Sharkey; confirmed March
• James A. Hayden, first selectman of the Town of East Granby (appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy, confirmed May 1)
• Joseph A. MacDougald, member of the Board of Selectmen, Town of Madison (appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy, confirmed May 21)
HB 6531, renewable-energy credit:
CRRA's proposal to create a renewable-energy credit for trash-to-energy plants
provided the basis for a bill that died in committee.
CRRA had asked for the bill to apply to any plant whose original avoided-cost power-sales contract had expired, meaning the Hartford, Bridgeport and Wallingford plants would have been eligible immediately and the remaining three in the next few years.
Our proposal included a sunset provision, making this credit a temporary solution to preserving the economic viability of our state’s environmentally-superior solid-waste system long enough for Connecticut to transition to the system of advanced materials recovery envisioned by the Governor’s Modernizing Recycling Working Group.