Sen. Markley Blasts DEEP for Unfunded Mandates

December 17, 2014

Hartford-Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) today submitted testimony criticizing the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for imposing more unfunded mandates on municipalities. The proposed changes to the “General Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water from Small Municipal Storm Sewer Systems,” or MS4 Permit, would impose new, expensive burdens on towns. The new regulations are designed to decrease water pollution, but DEEP is not providing funds to aid towns which would be forced to increase services and upgrade infrastructure to comply with the new standards.

“I share in everyone’s desire for a clean, healthy environment, but regulators must be sensitive to the cost these rules place on property taxpayers. These changes to the MS4 permit go far beyond what the federal government demands or what municipalities can afford,” said Senator Markley. “This is the third alarming burden the state has threatened to level on towns in the four years I have served in the legislature. The towns have come to me to advocate on their behalf.”

If these new regulations pass, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) estimates that the cost of compliance for Southington alone would be nearly $1 million annually. The state has allocated no funds to aid towns for this purpose.

“I am a firm believer in allowing agencies like DEEP to operate without legislative micromanaging,” added Sen. Marley. “However, if state agencies continue to set unreasonable and costly standards, it is my duty to shield the towns and constituents I represent as best as I can.”