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RIDEM Quarterly Business Roundtable Meeting Minutes
September 23, 1999
Director Jan Reitsma and Gary Ezovski called the September 23, 1999 meeting of the Quarterly Business Roundtable to order at 4:05 p.m. Those in attendance are noted on the attached list.
Minutes from the June 24, 1999 were reviewed with no requests for modifications.
Notice was made that the DEM website includes a schedule for meetings. Director Reitsma suggested public hearings be included.
Global Enforcement Program update was provided by T. Gray. A handout was provided and recommendations were sought for potential use of administrative warrants. A goal has been established within the Department to effect this policy by March 2000. T. Gray also advised that a formal position regarding NFA letters should be completed in about a month.
Director Reitsma commented on reorganization status:
The suggestion to establish joint position papers for above ground/basement home heat tanks and arsenic issues were discussed.
R. Ballou and Director Reitsma outlined the scope of the DEM work plan that will be presented to Governor Almond next week. Full distribution in advance of the presentation to the Governor was not possible but some sample information was provided. Ultimately, it is expected that the plan will be submitted for public comment. Though an abundance of effort has been applied to draft the plan, it is a work in process that is expected to be modified as the review proceeds. Due to the size of the document, the best means for accessing the work plan is through the Department's website (www.dem.state.ri.us). A hard copy of the executive summary can be mailed to anyone who does not have Internet access (call 222-4700, extension 4430).
F. Vincent and Director Reitsma offered a recap of the DEM budget issues:
Roundtable participants offered that business must lobby the legislature if the Department is to obtain reasonable funding.
R. Ballou and Director Reitsma offered a list of legislative priorities. Overall the effort will be to limit proposals and prioritize issues. Among the current concerns are:
The Department will also welcome identification of laws which get in the way of business without providing environmental benefit. Comment was made that permit review resources being driven by expedited review for economic concern is good but creates a delay for regular projects that have been waiting in line. A package of common sense proposals will be drafted for possible legislative action.
Additional information was presented regarding the Department's Workplan:
The Department announced completion of an MOU today regarding auto body shops through a joint effort of business, Davies and URI. A certification program may result.
A new initiative to use mediation (alternative dispute resolution) was introduced and a handout provided. Comments are welcome.
Next meetings set for January 6, and March 23, 2000.