• Implements the recommendations of a legislative task force under the 2013 Regulatory Reform Act
• Strengthens wetlands protection
• Creates a single wetlands standard statewide; and
• Provides consistency to the business community
"This legislation is an example of the good we can achieve when business, environmental groups and government work together," said Raimondo. "By streamlining wetlands permitting, our state is moving at the speed of business. Not only does this legislation build upon the other environmental successes our legislators have had this session, but it will spur economic development and make it easier to business in the Ocean State."
"With Governor Raimondo's signature on this new law, we're taking a major step forward to improve both protection of our precious freshwater wetland resources and efficiency of the regulatory process for businesses," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "I cannot say enough about the efforts of the members of the Wetlands Task Force who rolled up their sleeves and worked together to forge a better Rhode Island. People want to see government work to promote environmental quality and our business climate- this bill achieves just that."
This legislation was sponsored by Senator Erin P. Lynch and Chairman Arthur Handy and approved by the General Assembly (S 737).
"These standards are good for residents, they are good for businesses and they are good for the environment," said Senator Lynch (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston). "The task force that was formed two years ago delivered excellent recommendations on how Rhode Island can streamline to be efficient for our businesses and residents while also protecting our natural resources within the state."
"Environmentalists and businesses have been calling for uniform standards for years and I am happy to report that such standards now exist," said Representative Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston) who is Chairman of the House Environment & Natural Resources Committee. "To preserve public health, through the protection of drinking water, quality of life and making life easier for our businesses is a win-win and a legislative victory for all Rhode Islanders."
The bill signing ceremony was held at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.