Environmental Community News and Events

RHODE ISLAND STATE PLANNING COUNCIL
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS
In accordance with the General Laws, Section 42-11-10 and Chapter 42-35, the State Planning Council has under consideration adoption of a draft plan entitled “Water Quality 2035”, an Element of the State Guide Plan. This draft Water Quality Management Plan focuses on the need for careful management of the water resources of the State. It sets long-range goals and policies for the protection and restoration of water quality and aquatic habitats. The Draft highlights current and emerging challenges to achieving our clean water goals. It recognizes that maintaining acceptable quality and quantities of water while balancing the needs of natural systems with human activity and development can be complex. Opportunities to improve and adapt management in response to this challenge are included.

 

The date, time and locations of the hearings are provided in the following annoucement.  DOWNLOAD HERE:

CRMC WQMP 2035 Notice and Handout
WQMP 2035 notice and handout (002).pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [326.0 KB]

With heavy hearts, we note the unfortunate and premature loss of two RISEP members who participated actively in our affairs over the years.

 

Jane Duxbury – Jane, a senior consultant at Ransom Environmental who frequented RISEP’s luncheons and social events, passed away in January 2016.  A talented and dedicated scientist, she enjoyed relaxing with her professional colleagues.  We will miss Jane’s ready smile and camaraderie.  We encourage you to view her obituary and find information about donating to her son’s educational fund at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/burlingtonfreepress/obituary.aspx?pid=177387023

 

Jim Fraher - Our former RISEP Chair and Honorary Director, Jim Fraher, passed away unexpectedly in March 2016.  A Rhode Island native, Jim had worked in laboratory services, principally for ESS Laboratory and Analytics Environmental, and had served many of our members very capably in this capacity.  We will miss Jim’s cheerful presence at our events.  You may view his obituary at http://www.thequinnfuneralhome.com/obituary/James-R.-Fraher/Warwick-RI/1601182

 

RISEP is pleased to inform our members about news and events from other environmental organizations in Southern New England.  To add a posting, please contact RISEP here.  

 

September 24, 2015

DEM ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF BROWNFIELDS REMEDIATION PROJECT GRANTS


Projects Support Rhode Island's Economy and Environment by Revitalizing Communities and Creating Jobs

 

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) is soliciting proposals for brownfields site redevelopment projects that will support the cleanup of contaminated property and contribute to the state's economic vitality. Five million dollars in grant funding, which supports an estimated 365 local jobs, is available over the next four years through the new Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund. Rhode Island voters approved creation of the Fund with the passage of the 2014 Clean Water, Open Space, and Healthy Communities Bond. The application deadline is October 26, 2015.

"Rhode Islanders deserve a strong economy and a healthy environment," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "The projects funded by these grants will help move Rhode Island forward by opening up valuable real estate for development, cleaning up contamination, attracting jobs, and promoting public health."

Expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of brownfields – which are now abandoned vestiges of Rhode Island's industrial heritage – may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of environmental contamination. It is estimated that Rhode Island has between 10,000 to 12,000 brownfields sites – many of which occupy desirable commercial and industrial space within the state's urban corridor. Remediation and redevelopment of these sites not only reduces the threat to public health and the environment from exposure to uncontrolled contamination, but it also creates and attracts jobs, revitalizes neighborhoods, and increases the local tax base. The Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields program estimates that 7.3 jobs are supported per $100,000 spent on brownfields redevelopment; based on this formula, the Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund grants will support an estimated 365 jobs in Rhode Island.

"We look forward to partnering with successful applicants on this new grant opportunity," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Transforming these former industrial sites into productive properties protects the environment and strengthens communities."

The grant program provides funding support and technical assistance to facilitate the return of brownfields to productive re-use. Grant funding will cover 80 percent of a project's cost; a 20 percent match is required. Four categories of grants are available, including pre-development planning, site preparation, redevelopment, and small business assistance grants.
 

  • Pre-development planning grants of up to $20,000 are available for determining the feasibility of a brownfields redevelopment project. These grants can be used for the initial efforts to build off past site investigations and assessment work to determine the options and costs of remediation and/or the development of a brownfields site, and development of marketing and public outreach plans.
  • Site preparation grants of up to $100,000 are available for sites that have already been identified as a brownfield based on previous site investigation work, but lack an approved Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP). These grants can be used to fill gaps that exist in previously-obtained site investigation data and to develop and analyze potential remedial strategies necessary for an approved RAWP.
  • Redevelopment grants of up to $500,000 are available for brownfield sites that already have completed and approved site investigations and an approved RAWP and Remedial Approval Letter or Order of Approval issued by RIDEM. Redevelopment grants will fund the remediation and redevelopment of a brownfields site to bring the site into productive reuse.
  • Small business assistance grants of up to $50,000 are available for those small businesses that are currently located on a brownfields site but lack the resources to address contamination. These grants will provide the capital needed to investigate and clean up the site in a manner protective of public health and the environment; this simultaneously restores the value of the underlying property and supports the long-term financial viability of the existing business.

An informational workshop on this grant opportunity is scheduled for Wednesday, September 30 in Room 300 at DEM Headquarters at 235 Promenade Street in Providence from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Final proposals and supporting materials must be submitted to RIDEM's Office of Waste Management by 4 p.m. on Monday, October 26. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications electronically to Matthew DeStefano at matthew.destefano@dem.ri.gov. Proposals may also be mailed to the RIDEM Permit Application Center, 235 Promenade Street, Second Floor, Providence, RI 02908. Government and non-profit agencies, along with private/non-government entities, are eligible to apply. Selection of sites will be determined on a competitive basis.

For more information on this grant opportunity, contact Matthew DeStefano at 401-222-4700, ext. 7141 or via email at matthew.destefano@dem.ri.gov. The Request for Proposals can be found online at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/waste/pdf/bbrfp15.pdf.

Posted June 9, 2014

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New England District    Proposed Regional General Permit  - June 12, 2014 Meeting    Greg Penta, USACE Regulatory Division

Dear RISEP Members and Colleagues:

The New England District, Army Corps of Engineers, is developing a regional general permit for New England (NEGP) to replace the six state PGs in our region, including the RI GP (see BELOW to download the documents and revisions).  The Corps issued a public notice in June 2013.  The Corps plans to issue another public notice this summer to again solicit comments from stakeholders, and to make a permit decision in December 2014.

 

There will be a meeting with Greg Penta from the Corps Regulatory Division at RIDEM  from 2-5 PM on Thursday, June 12 at 235 Promendade Street Providence, RI, Third Floor, Room 300 to discuss the NE GP with interested Parties.  For more details contact:

 

Greg Penta

Regulatory Division

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District

696 Virginia Road

Condord, MA  02742-2751

(978) 318-8862

 

Thank you,

Laura Ernst

RISEP Secretary

401-595-3816

laura@landcoastalservices.com

 

DOWNLOAD FILES BELOW

Rhode Island General Permit
RIGP-1.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [311.6 KB]
New England General Permit Draft - with tracked changes - May 22, 2014
NE GP draft - to RI (5-22-14)-1.docx
Microsoft Word document [532.3 KB]
New England General Permit Draft - no tracked changes - May 22, 2014
NE GP draft - to RI no track changes (5[...]
Microsoft Word document [417.5 KB]