2015-2016 ANNUAL BAR MEETING
JUNE 17, 2016
DEM IS TAKING STEPS TO DIVERT COMMERCIAL WASTE FROM THE CENTRAL LANDFILL
Rhode Island recently reinstated its Commercial Solid Waste Recycling Program. Companies with over fifty employees must comply with recycling regulations that:
- set schedules for recycling solid waste;
- submit source reduction and recycling plan; and
- report source reductions and recycling activities
Companies who fail to meet the requirements under these regulations will be subject to penalties (pursuant to RIGL §42-17.6). The director of DEM can assess a penalty of up to $1,000. Furthermore, after the director serves a notice of noncompliance, each day a company fails to comply with the program constitutes a separate and new offense.
RHODE ISLAND AIMS AT PROMOTING COMPOSTING AND SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH
DEM amended its regulations on composting facilities and the recycling of food waste. DEM teamed up with the R.I. Food Policy Council to broaden composting categories and to streamline the permitting process, in response to the enactment of the Food Waste Ban statute, R.I.G.L. §23-18.9-17. DEM promulgated a tiered structure based on the quantity of waste produced at a facility:
- Small scale operations (less than 25 yards3 of compost material on site) are not required to register with DEM.
- Medium scale operations (25-600 yards3 of compost material on site) must register with DEM using an online registration process.
- Large scale operations (over 600 yards3 of compost material on site) must register with DEM and renew that registration every 3 years.
Although small scale operations are exempt from DEM’s registration requirement, they may still have to obtain permits or other certification pursuant to other state and federal regulations.
DEM AND CRMC ARE SOON TO BE THE SOLE AUTHORITY ON DEVELOPMENT PERMITS IN WETLAND AREAS
The new wetland regulations drastically reduce the power of municipalities to regulate wetlands. The regulations will establish a single set of state setbacks for development. However, municipalities will be able to both weigh in on permit applications (if they choose) and petition the state’s setback regulations.
Currently, DEM is: Establishing setbacks Meeting with working groups & stakeholders twice a month Aiming to have a draft ready for internal review in July, 2016
For more information, please get in touch.