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State Environmental Regulations: How and When to Obtain Stormwater Construction General Permits

In a blog post from January, we discussed Rhode Island DEM’s state-level enforcement action priorities for 2020. Today, we’ll take a closer look at one of the priority areas, stormwater construction general permits, and the related state environmental regulations. The DEM Stormwater Program DEM established the Stormwater Program to meet its requirements from the federal Clean Water Act, state law,…

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New Zoning Requirements for Energy Project Applications in Rhode Island

Recently, we discussed applications of Rhode Island laws and regulations related to green energy developments, particularly solar developments. On April 20, 2020, the R.I. Superior Court issued a decision related to solar developments and zoning requirements, which we will review here. The Exeter Solar Project Green Development (referred to hereinafter as Green) has been developing various renewable energy projects in…

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New Environmental Regulations for Commercial Fishing and Aquaculture

In a wonderfully informative article from May 10, 2020, ecoRI News dove into the problems oyster farmers (and shellfish farmers generally) are facing now that their main buyers, restaurants, have either closed or scaled back their businesses significantly because of the COVID-19 epidemic. Bob Rheault, the executive director of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, explained to ecoRI News that…

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Nuisance – From Property to Environmental Litigation

Today, our blog will talk about various nuisance claims, and give a recent example of one using Rhode Island’s environmental litigation against fossil fuel companies for the consequences of climate change. What Is a Nuisance (legally speaking) in Rhode Island? Under common law, there are two kinds of nuisance claims, though both were mostly related to property law historically. The…

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One Tool in the Environmental Law Practice Belt: The Coastal Zone Management Act

Most people don’t know about all of the different aspects of environmental law practice. There are a plethora of laws with authority over different activities or processes you may consult an environmental lawyer about. Recently on the blog, we looked at shoreline access in Rhode Island through the state Constitution and state case law. In this somewhat-related blog post, we…

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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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The Second Supreme Court Decision This Week on Federal Environmental Legislation: The Clean Water Act

This week, coincidentally the week of Earth Day 2020, saw two Supreme Court decisions on two different federal environmental legislation issues. The Court’s decision of April 21, 2020 , which we discussed in our last blog post, relates to the Superfund law. The Court’s more recent April 23, 2020 opinion assesses the Clean Water Act of 1972 (“CWA”). This decision,…

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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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How Attorneys Help You Navigate Land Use Restrictions

Owning property gives you rights to use and develop that property. Being able to do anything you want is usually not possible, however. This is a result of land use restrictions created by government or from private parties when property is transferred. Below, we’ll take a look at different land use restrictions and how attorneys can assist you with issues…

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