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Invenergy Denied Permit to Pave Over Forest in Burrillville

The Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) recently issued its Final Order denying Invenergy a permit to pave over a forest in Burrillville to build an unnecessary fossil fuel power plant. If you are not familiar with this case, Invenergy is a privately held, global developer for sustainable energy projects; and the EFSB is an independent state board that reviews proposed…

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Building Approval

Processes like development plan approval, subdivision approval, and building approval refer to the approval required for construction or expansion (including some types of renovation) at the municipal level. A building approval is generally a written document that results from zoning board and/or planning board review. Permits must be obtained before constructing, enlarging, altering, repairing, moving, demolishing, or changing the occupancy of…

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Environmental Pollution Laws: The Clean Water Act

The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) was first codified in 1948 and later expanded in 1972. While environmental pollution laws cover the breadth of the country’s natural resources, the CWA specifically created a statutory regime to regulate discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States. The other main purpose of this statute is to employ water quality standards…

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Environmental and Regulatory Compliance in Business

Ensuring that your company complies with the various state and federal environmental statutes and regulations is incredibly important. I say this because I have first-hand experience when companies are non-compliant. Environmental investigations are expensive, time-consuming, and may create negative publicity. This article focuses on environmental and regulatory compliance in business settings. Federal legislation like the Clean Air Act (CAA), the…

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Civil Litigation Lawyer

A good civil litigation lawyer knows the value of zealous advocacy. There is a particular skillset associated with that advocacy. Attorneys are trained to create arguments that fit with the facts of the case and/or relevant case law. Knowing the process behind a litigated matter is important, too. For example, properly effecting service on a defendant in a lawsuit is…

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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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