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Public Utility Law

The regulation of utilities in Rhode Island is the responsibility of the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (“RIPUC”). That commission is a creature of statute. As an attorney, practicing before the commission is different than appearing in state court. Public utility law follows various enabling acts and observance of a variation on the state’s rules of evidence and civil procedure.…

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Land Use Regulations

Property owners in Rhode Island must adhere to state and local land use regulations. This applies to all types of property – residential, commercial, industrial, and all others. The policies behind regulating land use are to ensure appropriate and positive social and environmental considerations. Some other goals are to manage resources, to properly plan for development, to promote environmental conservation,…

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So, You Want to be an Environmental Attorney?

While some people are still denying climate change, young people across the globe are speaking out their potentially bleak environmental future: Greta Thunberg If you are interested in becoming an environmental attorney, I offer the following considerations. An Overview As a lawyer, I interface with environmental issues daily. This interface occurs on both regulatory and statutory levels. It also occurs…

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Litigation Definition

A civil litigator’s clients don’t often have a full understanding of the complexities inherent in a civil matter. A comprehensive litigation definition must include a listing of the course of a case: Client intake and investigation Drafting and filing pleadings Discovery Motion practice and Pre-trial Trial Settlement, and Appeals process Client intake and investigation Managing a civil case from beginning…

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Environmental Impact Assessment – What is it?

To analyze whether a particular activity or project may detrimentally affect the natural resources around it, an Environmental Impact Assessment is necessary. Review of environmental consequences are another way to describe this process. An assessment is completed prior to a decision about whether to proceed with a project or activity. Environmental Impact Assessments, more often known as Environmental Assessments, do…

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State Freshwater Wetlands Rules: Seeks Public Input

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) have developed revised freshwater wetlands rules needed to implement the findings and recommendations of a legislative task force that examined the adequacy of freshwater wetlands protection in R.I. The state Freshwater Wetlands law was previously amended to achieve two important goals: strengthen wetlands protection…

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Corporate Law

In Rhode Island, several state agencies regulate businesses. Corporate law related to coastal and environmental management follows specific regulatory tracks. Environmental law and coastal law compliance and enforcement are important initiatives for the government. This includes federal, state, and municipal branches. Just as individuals can be found liable for violations of environmental laws and regulations, so can companies. Coastal Law…

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Current Environmental Policies

Today’s environmental issues need an almost constant review and revision to current environmental policies at both the state and federal levels. Exclusive reliance on historical sources of energy is no longer a viable option. Monitoring of resources like water quality shows that efforts to regulate human activity fails often. As human population increases, we see the need for increased attention…

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What is a Utility Lawyer?

The details of services provided by a utility lawyer are less well understood than the details of the legal profession in general. Utilities law is an area of practice that encompasses regulation of public utilities: suppliers of electricity, telecommunications services, natural gas, water and sewer services, cable television, motor carriers, and ferry services. The regulations covering these services are implemented…

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