CT’s enviro agency to pursue expanded EPR regime

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The following policy dive is courtesy of Dentons50 partner Jim O’Brien.

Three weeks into the legislative session, the Connecticut Department of Environmental and Energy Protection (DEEP) unveiled a legislative agenda that contains an extended producer responsibility proposal for all products.

Modeled after Maine’s first-in-the-nation extended producer responsibility regime, the program would empower the commissioner of DEEP to unilaterally decide which products fall within the new framework. The Commissioner would not be required to seek legislative approval.   Currently, Connecticut’s EPR regime extends only to electronics, thermostats, paint, and mattresses.

According to a draft copy of the department’s legislative priorities circulated around the capitol this week, the commissioner will seek “an act concerning the establishment of a chapter concerning product stewardship … to provide for consistency in product stewardship programs.” Specifically, the program would:

(1) Provides an annual process for DEEP to communicate with the Legislature on the status of existing product stewardship programs and recommendations for the addition of new products, (2) Creates consistency by defining the standard elements of product stewardship programs in one section of statute, and (3) provides authority necessary to initiate product stewardship programs once a product has been designated through legislative action or the adoption of regulations.