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Rules and Regulations

Policy for Pre-Application Meetings

The Office of Customer and Technical Assistance (OCTA) is a non-regulatory program located in the Department’s Bureau of Environmental Protection. The Office provides assistance to the general public, state and local governments, and the business community concerning compliance with rules, regulations, environmental standards, and the permitting process.

Pre-application meetings are an important component of the permitting process. The Department recommends these meetings for large projects that may involve more than one permit, for applicants that are not familiar with the Department’s permitting process, or for any applicant that may have questions about permitting their project.


Meetings can be scheduled by contacting Ron Gagnon at 401-222-4700, extension 7500, or Joseph Antonio, extension 4410.


Meeting requests for wetland projects that have no edge determination, or have not been the subject of a previous application, are handled by OCTA. If the site has a wetlands edge determination, or has been the subject of a previous wetlands application, a wetlands supervisor or other staff will participate in the meeting.

For projects involving Air Pollution Control, Hazardous or Solid Waste Management, Storm Water or Waste Water Discharges, Above Ground or Underground Storage Tanks, Septic System Design, or any other Department permitting program, appropriate staff from each program will participate.

Site plans, environmental reports, or other project information can be submitted to the Office of Customer and Technical Assistance before the meeting, or brought to the meeting, to help ensure that all permitting issues can be addressed.

Pre-application meetings are intended to provide an applicant with a clear understanding of the types or permits that will be required, the information that must be submitted as part of a permit application, and the process the department will follow in reviewing and making a decision concerning the application.

The meetings re not intended to review specific issues concerning regulatory decisions that must be made as part of the permit review process. The Department will provide explanations of specific rules but will not make decisions concerning how they may apply to a specific project until the project is fully reviewed under the permitting process.

A summary letter is issued after the meeting to the party that requested the meeting, with copies to all that attended.

Service Alert

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, walk-in service at DEM's Permit Application Center (PAC) at DEM Headquarters in Providence has been paused. The Office is still accepting and processing applications and honoring all scheduled in-person appointments. Applications can be dropped off directly outside the PAC, and the team will respond within one to two business days.

Contact 401-222-4700 ext. 7265 or email with questions or to set up an appointment for other services. If you are seeking assistance for wetlands or OWTS/septic systems, please call 401-222-4700 and ask for the person on-call for the specific program.

More updates

Contact OCTA
Ron Gagnon, PE; Chief
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Phone: (401) 222-6822 (OCTA)
Fax: (401) 222-3810