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Home> Topics> Livable Communities> Municipalities

What DEM Does for Municipalities

  The quality of life in Rhode Island is dependent on the quality of the natural environment in which its citizens live and work. To improve, maintain and preserve high environmental quality, DEM offers a number of programs that benefit communities - from help in creating wastewater management districts to providing grants for recreation. This summary, and the information linked to this page provides some of the highlights of DEM programs which benefit communities.

For information about programs not listed, please try the search functions or call our Office of Customer and Technical Assistance at 222-6822 to reach the person who can help you with your particular concern. 
GRANTS Open Space & Public Recreation Development Grants
Notice of Proposed Regulations and Public Hearing. Call Joseph Dias at 222-2776.

Targeted Brownfields Assessment Program

Brownfields Competitive Site Assessment Grant Opportunities

Recreational Development
50% match for municipal outdoor recreation. Call Joseph Dias at 222-2776.

Water Pollution Control
90% match from the Aqua Fund for various projects. Grant round open until February 23, 2001. Call Lisa McGreavey 222-4700 ext. 7611.

Non-Point Source Funding Grants
The deadline for submitting grant applications is August 3, 2001. As indicated in the RFP, if you need further information, please contact Jim Riordan at 222-4700 ext. 4421.

Mosquito Abatement
50% match for surveillance or mapping of mosquito production sites, saltmarsh water management projects or educational initiatives. Call Alan Gettman, Ph.D. 789-6280.

Community Forestry
40/60% match for tree planting. Call Paul Dolan 568-2013.
DEM's Brownfields program creates agreements with prospective purchasers of contaminated property who agree to clean up the sites for reuse. In return, they will not be held liable for past environmental practices. Call Kelly Owens at 222-4700 ext. 7108.

Mosquito Abatement
DEM holds Health, Environmental and Pesticide Safety Education Training and certification for pesticide applicators and offers information and brochures on integrated pest management and West Nile Virus. Call Elizabeth Lopes-Duguay 222-2781 ext. 4510. 

DEM also, has a special low ground pressure excavator, commonly called the "Marsh Walker" to conduct saltmarsh water management projects. Call Alan Gettman, Ph.D. 789-6280.














Watershed / Community Planning 
Four new publications are on in the process of being printed this spring to assist communities in developing innovative land use strategies to minimize the impact of development on the environment.  Send us a note to reserve a copy or get more information. 
South County Design Manual
contains design recommendations for development of rural lands, agricultural lands, commercial sites and industrial sites. 

Model Land Use Ordinances Guide provides guidance in the development process while encouraging smart growth and protection of resources. 

Farming and Forestry Strategies Guide presents strategies for land protection and expanding existing community jobs and businesses linked with forestry and agriculture. 

South County Greenspace Protection Project pamphlet offers South County communities technical support to identify and prioritize critical lands for protection. 

Rhode Island Watershed Resources Directory lists organizations and agencies involved in watershed issues

What's the Scoop on Wetlands, Frequently Asked Questions about DEM's Freshwater Wetlands Program, A booklet and several wetlands fact sheets are available. Call 222-
6822 for copies. 

Water Quality 
Rhode Island Community Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Guide recommends methods to prevent non-point pollution. Call 222-6822 for copies.

Nutrient Pollution: Choking Our Rivers a brochure describes the problems of nutrient pollution. Call 222-3961.

Watershed Restoration Plans 
DEM is preparing plans for waters that have been identified as impaired to develop an action agenda to address pollution. Contact the Office of Water Resources at 222-3961 for information on these plans (often referred to as TMDLs).

Septic System Checkup, the Rhode Island Handbook for Inspection 
A guide to ensure septic systems function properly. This manual and the report forms are available online.  Alternately  printed copies may be purchased by calling 222-6822 for copies ($10 for report/and form or $7 for the report  and $3 forms). Also available is the Summary of RI Municipal Onsite Wastewater Programs document. Contact Jim Riordan at 222-3961 ext. 4421 for information on wastewater management districts.

Urban Forestry 
Several publications are available to help individuals and community planners work with trees as part of good environmental planning. Building Greener Neighborhoods: Trees as Part of the Plan, Forest Business Opportunities, Protecting Shade Trees During Home Construction, and A Technical Guide to Urban and Community Forestry are available through DEM's Division of Forest Environment. Call Paul Dolan 568-2013.   The Statewide Planning Program at the Department of Administration has also produced an Urban and Community Forestry Plan that is available online.

Air Quality 
Rhode Island's Emissions and Safety Testing Program contractor maintains information regarding the program.

New rules are coming on stormwater which will impact communities. The "Phase II" program will require additional operators of municipal separate storm sewer systems in urbanized areas and operators of small construction sites to implement practices to minimize polluted storm water runoff program.  Call Greg Goblick 222-4700 ext. 7165. 
PROGRAMS  Waste Management
DEM is working with communities interested in implementing a pay-as-you-go system of trash management.  Call Terri Bisson at 222-4700 x4402.

There is also a Litter Task Force meeting. Check the link>/a>.

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