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Law and Policy

  • DEM Denies Permit Application of Proposed Medical Waste Treatment Facility

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Michael Healey P:401-258-0787 E: Michael.Healey@dem.ri.gov Tuesday, July 13, 2021 PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today that it has denied the permit application of Medrecycler-RI Inc. to build a medical waste-to-energy plant at 1600  Division Road in West Warwick. DEM cited the following factors in denying the application:   The proposal did…

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    BOEM Announces Environmental Review of Wind Energy Project Proposed for Offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts

    Agency seeks comments from the public The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced it will begin conducting an environmental review of a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Wind, LLC, for its Vineyard Wind South offshore wind project. “The Biden-Harris administration has set an ambitious target of 30 gigawatts of installed offshore wind energy by 2030,…

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    State Regulations for Marinas, Non-Compliance with Regulatory Requirements, and the Clean Marina Program

    Are you a marina owner/operator in Rhode Island, or would you like to be? If so, you should know about the state regulations which apply to marina regulations and permitting, what non-compliance with regulatory requirements might mean for your business, and the Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC)’s Clean Marina Program. The CRMC and DEM are responsible for most of the…

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    Advocacy for Environmental Protection and Economic Integrity Related to Coastal Properties and Climate Change

    R.I. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen teamed up this month in an op-ed to address the economic impacts of climate change related to the rapidly declining value of coastal properties. The op-ed also appeared in the Boston Globe. In this opinion piece, the Senators noted that Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire have already lost…

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    The RI Right to Farm Act and Land Zoning

    Our blog post today will explain what the Right to Farm Act is in RI and how it may be useful in land zoning disputes related to farming activities. For example, we will be discussing an upcoming North Smithfield Zoning Board hearing. The Upcoming Zoning Board Issue Frank Jacques operates a composting business at his Buxton Hollow Farm in North…

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    An Environmental Act in the News: Allowing Commercial Fishing in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

    June 8-12 is World Ocean Week! Our blog post today will focus on one current topic in the world of oceans, through the lens of a few environmental acts currently in the news. On June 5, 2020, the President announced that he will be reopening the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to commercial fishing. Below we will explain…

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    Regulatory Changes to Environmental Rules and Regulations: Section 401 of the Clean Water Act

    June began with a revision to the Clean Water Act (CWA)’s environmental rules and regulations. Today, we’ll explain what that section of the law does, and what the changes mean for state and tribal government review of federal projects moving forward. Section 401 Certification Starting in April of 2019, the current administration started a process to review Section 401 of…

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    State-Level Construction Projects and Land Use Policy

    In a case seeking to settle law related to land use and zoning laws and land use policy in Rhode Island, the state Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments for two consolidated cases brought to it by appeal. Town of Exeter v. State of Rhode Island et al. No. 2018-274-Appeal.; Town of Richmond, Rhode Island v. State of Rhode Island et…

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    Land Law: Adverse Possession and Acquiescence in R.I.

    Recently, the Rhode Island Supreme Court issued its decision in Clark v. Buttonwoods Beach Association (No. 2018-17-Appeal). In this case, the plaintiffs alleged that they owned a beachfront piece of land directly across from their residential lot on Promenade Avenue in Warwick. The plaintiffs also alleged that they purchased their residential lot because the purchase and sale included the beachfront…

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    Environmental Protection Laws, CERCLA, and the Supreme Court: This Week’s Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian Decision

    A colleague pointed out this new U.S. Supreme Court decision. Hot off the presses, this decision is for a case related to environmental protection laws. Specifically, the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability and Act, also known as CERCLA or Superfund. To understand the decision, this blog post will discuss CERCLA, a summary of the case and the holding,…

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