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Rules and Regulations

Stormwater Permitting

Public Notice of Recodification of OWTS and Stormwater Rules

The RI Department of Environmental Management Office of Water Resources has issued public notice of proposed rulemaking for recodifications of the RI Stormwater Design and Installation Standards Manual (“Stormwater Manual”) and the Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (“OWTS Rules”).

A public hearing will be held on September 12, 2018 at DEM’s offices in Providence for each recodified Rule document. The hearings will be held in Room 280C beginning at 10:00 a.m. The public comment period will remain open until 4:00 p.m. on October 1, 2018.

In accordance with the RI Administrative Procedures Act (RIGL §42-35-5), all state regulations must be reformatted and recodified by December 31, 2018. This recodification must follow a standard format used for all state regulations. Recodification for most of DEM’s Rules required a basic reformatting with no wording changes. However, the Stormwater Manual and the OWTS Rules presented unique circumstances involving guidance that needed to be addressed (explained below).

It must be stressed that the recodification for both the Stormwater Manual and the OWTS Rules involved no substantive changes to either Rule. Stormwater management requirements and OWTS requirements will be exactly the same under the recodified rules as they are today under the existing Rules.


Background and Regulatory Authority

In an effort to preserve, protect, and improve the nation's water resources from polluted stormwater runoff, the RIDEM has developed a Stormwater Program as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA) and RI State Law.

RIDEM’s Stormwater Program addresses requirements from EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and Underground Injection Control (UIC) program under the Clean Water Act, as well as the requirements of the Freshwater Wetlands Regulations, the Water Quality Regulations, the RIPDES Regulations, the Groundwater Discharge Regulations and the RI Stormwater Design and Installation Standards Manual. The permitting mechanisms are designed to meet the above regulations and laws in order to prevent and minimize stormwater runoff from washing harmful pollutants into groundwater, wetlands, coastal waters, and surface waters such as streams, rivers, lakes or coastal waters.

To provide some clarity, potential sources of polluted stormwater runoff are grouped and permitted into 3 categories: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities.