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Substitute Senate Bill No. 265

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-17

AN ACT CONCERNING WELL DRILLING.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 25-126 of the general statutes, as amended by section 104 of public act 95-79, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

For the purposes of this chapter: (1) "Well" means an artificial excavation or opening in the ground, by which groundwater can be obtained or through which it flows under natural pressure or is artificially withdrawn; (2) "Abandoned well" means a well whose use has been permanently discontinued; (3) "Groundwater" means subsurface water; (4) "Well drilling" means and includes the industry, procedure and all operations engaged in by any person, full time or part time, for compensation or otherwise, to obtain water from a well or wells by drilling, or other methods, for any purpose or use; (5) "Well driller" means a person who engages in well drilling; (6) "Person" includes an individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association or organization, or any combination thereof; (7) "Board" means the examining board for plumbing and piping work (8) "WATER-SUPPLY WELL" MEANS A WELL CONSTRUCTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING OR PROVIDING WATER FOR DRINKING OR OTHER DOMESTIC, INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL, AGRICULTURAL OR RECREATIONAL USE; (9) "NON-WATER-SUPPLY WELL" MEANS ANY WELL OTHER THAN A WATER SUPPLY WELL.

Sec. 2. Section 25-128 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) For the purpose of safeguarding the public health, the board shall promote and encourage cooperation among well drillers and governmental agencies in the development and protection of records of underground water formations and resources. The board shall prepare and print such bulletins as may be necessary for the benefit of the industry, and furnish copies to the industry and to the public upon request.

(b) (1) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection, with the advice and assistance of the board, shall promulgate, in accordance with chapter 54, regulations for the well drilling industry in cooperation with the Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Protection, with due regard for the preservation of public health, the preservation, allocation and management of the groundwater of the state, the protection of the consuming public and the maintenance of geological and other scientific data. Said regulations, together with the regulatory provisions of this chapter and the section of the Public Health Code relating to wells, shall be collectively known as the Connecticut Well Drilling Code. From time to time the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, with the advice and assistance of the board, shall similarly adopt such amendments or additions to such regulations as are necessary and proper governing the construction, repair and abandonment of [water] wells. (2) Said Well Drilling Code shall be enforced and violations thereof shall be punished in the same manner as is provided for the Public Health Code of the state by sections 19a-36 AS AMENDED and 19a-207 AS AMENDED.

Sec. 3. Section 25-129 of the general statutes, as amended by sections 12 and 21 of public act 95-257, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection, with the advice and assistance of the board, shall establish the requirements of registration for well drilling contractors. Each person, before engaging in the business of well drilling or pump installing, shall obtain annually from the Department of Consumer Protection a certificate of registration as a well drilling contractor, using an application blank prepared by said department. Each application for issuance or renewal of a certificate of registration shall be accompanied by a certificate of liability coverage for bodily injury of at least one hundred thousand dollars per person with an aggregate of at least three hundred thousand dollars and for property damage of at least fifty thousand dollars per accident with an aggregate of at least one hundred thousand dollars. The applicant shall pay a registration fee of forty-four dollars with his application and an annual renewal registration fee of one hundred twenty-five dollars for renewals on and after April 1, 1984. A certificate of registration is not transferable and expires annually. A lost, destroyed or mutilated registration certificate may be replaced by a duplicate upon payment of a lost fee of three dollars. One seal shall be issued to each registrant as provided in subsection (b). Additional seals may be obtained at a fee of three dollars each.

(b) A well drilling contractor shall place in a conspicuous location on both sides of his well drilling machine his registration number in letters not less than two inches high. A seal furnished by said department designating the year the certificate of registration was issued or renewed and the words "Connecticut registered [water] well drilling contractor" shall be affixed directly adjacent to the registration number.

(c) A [municipal] GOVERNMENTAL unit engaged in WATER SUPPLY well drilling shall be registered under this chapter, but shall be exempt from paying the registration fees A GOVERNMENTAL UNIT ENGAGED IN NON-WATER-SUPPLY WELL DRILLING SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION UNDER THIS CHAPTER if the drilling is done by regular employees of, and with equipment owned by, the unit and the work is on NON-WATER-SUPPLY wells intended for use by the governmental unit.

(d) This chapter shall not restrict a plumber or electrician from engaging in the trade for which he has been licensed.

(e) (1) A certificate of registration may be refused, or a certificate of registration duly issued may be suspended or revoked, or the renewal thereof refused by the board if said board has good and sufficient reason to believe or finds that the applicant for or the holder of such a certificate has: (A) Made a material misstatement in the application for a registration of any application for renewal thereof; or (B) obtained the registration through wilful fraud or misrepresentation; or (C) demonstrated gross incompetency to act as a well driller; or (D) been guilty of failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the State Well Drilling Code, as from time to time amended; or (E) refused to file reports of wells drilled as required by subsection (a) of section 25-131; or (F) been found guilty by the board, the Commissioner of Public Health or by a court of competent jurisdiction, of any fraud, deceit, gross negligence, incompetency or misconduct in the industry, operations or business of well drilling. (2) Before any certificate of registration shall be refused, suspended or revoked, or the renewal thereof refused, the board shall give notice of the intended action and afford opportunity for hearing in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter. (3) Appeal from the decisions of the board may be taken in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183. (4) After one year from the date of refusal or revocation of a registration, application to register may be made again by the person affected.

(f) The department shall prepare a roster of all registered well drillers and distribute it annually to the local director of health or his agent and the building inspector, if there is one, of each town.

Sec. 4. Section 25-130 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Before commencing work on any WATER SUPPLY well, the registered well driller shall apply to the board for a permit to drill such well. A fee of five dollars shall accompany such application. If the WATER SUPPLY well conforms to the Well Drilling Code, as from time to time amended, the board shall issue such permit which shall contain the name and address of the well driller, the date of issuance and the specific location of the well. The driller shall then submit the permit with a fee to be determined by the legislative body of a town, city or borough or the board of a district department of health, as the case may be, to the local director of health or his agent who shall sign such permit if said proposed WATER SUPPLY well conforms to the Public Health Code. No WATER SUPPLY well shall be drilled until such a permit is issued and countersigned and until the driller has informed his client, in writing, that well drilling is subject to regulation by the Department of Consumer Protection and that complaints may be directed to that department.

Sec. 5. Section 25-131 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Within sixty days, or other period established by the board, after the completion of a WATER SUPPLY well, a well drilling contractor shall provide the owner, the board and the Department of Environmental Protection with a copy of a record indicating the well owner's name and address, location of the well, well depth, geologic materials and thickness of materials penetrated, amount of casing, static water levels and any other information which may be required by the regulations adopted under this chapter. Standard forms for the record shall be provided by the board. A record for a drive point well where no earth materials are removed from the well bore shall be sufficient if the owner's name, well location, depth, casing, static water level and screen data are indicated. Such records shall bear the signed statement of the local director of health that he has approved such well.

(b) Drilling, excavating and pumping associated with the oil, gas, or brine well industries and the construction, quarrying, and mining industries and the disposal of any materials shall be subject to this chapter only insofar as they relate to the pollution and depletion of underground water resources.

(c) WITHIN SIXTY DAYS, OR OTHER PERIOD ESTABLISHED BY THE BOARD, AFTER COMPLETION OF A NON-WATER-SUPPLY WELL, A WELL DRILLING CONTRACTOR SHALL PROVIDE THE OWNER, THE BOARD, THE COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND THE LOCAL DIRECTOR OF HEALTH OR HIS AGENT WITH A COPY OF A RECORD INDICATING THE WELL OWNER'S NAME AND ADDRESS, WELL DEPTH, GEOLOGIC MATERIALS AND THICKNESS OF MATERIALS PENETRATED, AMOUNT AND TYPE OF CASING, STATIC WATER LEVELS, A SITE MAP INDICATING THE LOCATION OF THE WELL AND ANY OTHER INFORMATION WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS ADOPTED UNDER SECTION 25-128.

(d) THE ABANDONMENT OF NON-WATER-SUPPLY WELLS SHALL BE CONDUCTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS ADOPTED UNDER SECTION 25-128 REGARDING ABANDONMENT OF WELLS.

Sec. 6. Section 22a-9 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The commissioner shall act as the official agent of the state in all matters affecting the purposes of this title and sections 2-20a, AS AMENDED 5-238a, subsection (c) of section 7-131a, sections 7-131e, 7-131f, subsection (a) of section 7-131g, sections 7-131i, 7-131l, subsection (a) of section 10-321, AS AMENDED subdivisions (51) and (52) of section 12-81, sections 12-217c, 12-217d, 12-252a, 12-252b, 12-258b, 12-258i, 12-265b, 12-265c, subsections (21) and (22) of section 12-412, subsections (a) and (b) of section 13a-94, AS AMENDED sections 13a-142a, 13b-56, 13b-57, 14-100b, 14-164c, chapter 268, sections 16a-103, AS AMENDED 22-91c, 22-91e, subsections (b) and (c) of section 22a-148, section 22a-150, subdivisions (2) and (3) of section 22a-151, sections 22a-153, 22a-154, 22a-155, 22a-156, 22a-158, chapter 446c, sections 22a-295, AS AMENDED 22a-300, AS AMENDED 22a-308, AS AMENDED 22a-416, AS AMENDED chapters 446h to 446k, inclusive, chapters 447 and 448, sections 23-35, 23-37a, 23-41, chapter 462, section 25-34, AS AMENDED chapter 477, [section 25-127,] subsection (b) of section 25-128, AS AMENDED subsection (a) of section 25-131, chapters 490 and 491 and sections 26-257, 26-297, 26-303 and 47-46a, under any federal laws now or hereafter to be enacted and as the official agent of any municipality, district, region or authority or other recognized legal entity in connection with the grant or advance of any federal or other funds or credits to the state or through the state, to its political subdivisions.

Approved April 29, 1996. Effective October 1, 1996.

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