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Home > Programs > Ombudsman > Business Roundtable > Meeting Information
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RIDEM Quarterly Business Roundtable Meeting Minutes
January 6, 1999

DEM Director Jan Reitsma and Gary Ezovski called the January 6, 2000 meeting of the Business Roundtable to order at 3:35 PM.

Minutes from the previous meeting were reviewed and accepted as written.

The next four meeting dates were set as follows:

March 23, June 22, September 28, 2000 and January 4, 2001. They will be held at 235 Promenade St. Providence from 3:30-5:30 PM.

The Business Roundtable minutes from previous meetings are posted here. Any comments for future agenda topics can be forwarded to Gary Ezovski or Tom Getz.

Old Business

  • The new DEM Ombudsman, Tom Getz, was introduced. The draft Ombudsman Policy was posted on the DEM homepage. Roundtable participants were requested to review and comment on the policy.
  • The Environmental Compliance Incentive Act was discussed. A one-page summary of proposed changes and the proposed revised legislation was distributed. Comments will be taken until January 20, 2000. Director Reitsma indicated that DEM needed to have other constituencies review the document, before we can take a formal position on the package. If this proposal is to move forward this year, it needs to be finalized in order to meet an early February legislative deadline.
  • The oil heat tanks workgroup reported they had one meeting. A second meeting is scheduled for February 1, 2000. Dan Connery and Mickey Gill will draft a policy that will be discussed at the next meeting.
  • The Office of Compliance and Inspection is clearly noting when a response action is complete and no further action is necessary on the reports for emergency response actions and spill/remediation actions. Other methods to clearly recognize completion and compliance are also being developed for other programs.
  • The Office of Waste Management has developed a draft Interim Policy for Arsenic in Soil. This document is currently undergoing internal review and should be ready to be discussed with an outside work group in about two weeks. The policy is being driven by the fact that background levels of arsenic are often above the Remediation Regulation direct exposure criterion range of 1.7-3.8 mg/kg.
  • A general discussion was held concerning the Site Remediation and the Oil Pollution regulations. Concerns were raised about overlapping authority and inconsistent program requirements. Additional work needs to be done to improve coordination between the programs.
  • DEM has begun a permit streamlining review process of the environmental permitting programs. The Wetlands program will be evaluated first, followed by the ISDS, Air, Waste, UIC, RIPDES and Water Quality Certifications programs.
  • Bob Ballou went over the DEM legislative agenda. The centerpiece of DEM's effort will be the Open Space initiative. The department is requesting support from the business community on this effort. Additional information about the DEM legislative agenda and the Open Space initiative will be posted on DEM's website, when it is finalized. Legislation has been proposed to establish a legislative oversight committee in the House to review environmental issues.

New Business

DEM regulatory update:

  • As mentioned above, DEM will evaluate the Wetlands program for streamlining opportunities and will identify opportunities where program elements could be consolidated, shortened, modified or eliminated through administrative, policy, or regulatory changes. This process may also suggest legislative changes. A draft report will be available in mid January and will be distributed prior to the meeting. The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 20, 2000 at 4-6 PM.

There were other suggestions for permit streamlining activities and included:

1. Tank closure regulations should vary based on the fuel product that is stored in the tank. 2. There should be a variance procedure in the Wetlands regulations. 3. The variance procedure in the Waste Site Remediation Regulations should be reevaluated.

  • The DEM Alternative Dispute Resolution process is starting to be implemented. DEM is looking for comments on the program.
  • DEM has proposed modifications to the ISDS program. The regulation went to public hearing, comments are being evaluated and is undergoing final internal staff review. The regulation:

Sets standards for soil evaluations that will be used to determine the site suitability for the design and installation of a system.

Enables DEM to administer the first round of exams for the Class IV Soil Evaluator's License.

  • Enforcement policy revisions were discussed. The penalty matrices in the appendix of the rules will be revised. The enforcement policy will encourage speedy resolutions to environmental problems. Instead of issuing a Notice of Violation first, we will utilize a notice of intent to enforce. This document will notify the entity that a problem exists and identifies the DEM Compliance Assistance Program as a resource that can be used to resolve the problem. DEM is looking to finalize the policy by the end of March.
  • Maps delineating CRMC and DEM jurisdictional boundaries are available for review in the Office of Technical and Customer Assistance.
  • DEM is proposing regulations on hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerators (HMIWI). The draft regulation is now undergoing internal review and will be proposed for public comment in January 2000. The regulation establishes emission limitations for mercury, lead, cadmium, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide, dioxins/furans, and particulate matter as well as requirements related to operating practices, operator training, monitoring, testing, recordkeeping and reporting.
  • DEM is considering the two following minor revisions to its water quality regulations:

Allow the discharge of water from desalinization units to be discharged into SA waters with a permit.

EPA recently revised its ammonia standard. DEM is conducting an internal review to determine how the federal change impacts state regulations.

  • The RI I/M program started on Monday. DEM is collecting data from the stations and to date, there does not appear to be any serious problems with the program.

DEM Work Plan

Director Reitsma gave a presentation on the DEM work plan. The two-year plan charts the future course of DEM with a clearly defined set of goals for clean air, clean water, livable communities, healthy ecosystems, viable natural resource based industries, abundant and accessible open space and recreational opportunities, and open and effective government. The document also details strategies, environmental indicators, and performance measures to reach these goals.

The work plan consists of individual work plans for each bureau and division within DEM. The plan also details pilot programs that will be used in the South County watershed region and in the Woonsaquatucket watershed to address environmental issues collaboratively on a watershed-wide basis. Copies of the work plan can be located on the DEM home page.

A question and answer period followed the presentation. The meeting was then adjourned.


Jan Reitsma
Director, DEM
John Faile
New England Treatment Co. (NETCO)
Jerry Meyer
E. Greenwich Chamber of Commerce
Thomas Aubee
John Gorter
Alternate Energy Corp.
Ronald Gagnon
RIDEM/Office of Technical & Customer Assistance
Domenic Mitcheroney
RI Association of Environmental Managers
Richard Austin
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Mickey Gill
Oil Heat Institute of RI
Daniel Moon
Environmental Business Council
Bob Ballou
Chief of Staff, DEM Director's Office
Malcom Grant
Associate Director for Natural Resources, RIDEM
David Nash
Central RI Chamber of Commerce
Greg Benik
McGovern Noel & Benik
Terrence Gray
Assistant Director for Air, Water & Compliance, RIDEM
Karen A. O'Connor
Narragansett Electric Co.
Kelly Camp
ESS, Inc.
Tom Getz
Ombudsman, RIDEM
Tim O'Connor
Vanasse Hangen Brustlin
Alan Cantara
RI School of Design
Richard Hittinger, LSP
Michael F. Geisser, PE, RLS, LSP

Beta Engineering, Inc.
Stephen J. Olson
DePasquale Brothers, Inc.
Dan Connery
Gill Services
Peter Lombardi, Jr.
Oil Heat Institute of RI
Chris Reynolds
Vanasse Hangen Brustlin
Charles H. DeBlois, Jr.
DB Companies
Harold S. Luchka
RI Economic Development Corp.
Marc Viera
Environmental Analyst, Providence Gas Company
Guy Desaulniers
Invensys Thermal Systems
Peter A. Marshall
Cyn Environmental services
Fred Vincent
Assistant Director, RIDEM
Gary Ezovski
Lincoln Environmental, Inc.
Jason C. Martiesian
Northern RI Chamber of Commerce
Roger Warren
RI Builder's Association

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