§ 23-18.9-8. Licenses.
(a)(1) No person shall operate any solid waste management facility or construction and demolition (C&D) debris processing facility or expand an existing facility unless a license is obtained from the director except as authorized by this section. The director shall have full power to make all rules and regulations establishing standards to be met for the issuance of the licenses with those standards affording great weight to the detrimental impact that the placement of such a facility shall have on its surrounding communities.
(2) The director shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the uses and content of materials accepted and generated by a construction and demolition debris processing facility. Any costs associated with testing these materials by the facility or by the department to verify the results of the facility's tests shall be borne by the facility. Each facility shall be required to establish a fund with the department to cover the cost of these tests.
(b) Any person who desires to construct a solid waste management facility or install any equipment in a solid waste management facility must first submit to the director for approval plans and specifications and other related data required by the director.
(c) No construction and demolition debris processing facility shall be issued a license or be able to operate unless it has:
(1) Received a letter of compliance from the host municipality that all applicable zoning requirements and local ordinances of the host municipality have been complied with;
(2) Submitted a fire protection plan that has been approved by the local fire chief, or his or her designee, in which the facility is located; and
(3) For the purposes of this subsection, the letter of compliance from the host municipality shall issue from either:
(i) The town or city manager with town or city council approval in a municipality with a managerial form of government; or
(ii) The elected mayor with town or city council approval in a municipality with a non-managerial from of government.
(4) If, after thirty (30) days of receipt of a written request to the city or town by the applicant for a license requesting a letter of compliance, the letter of compliance is not issued because the host municipality finds that the requirements of the applicable zoning requirements or other ordinances have not been met, a letter of noncompliance must be issued setting forth the particular requirements that have not been met. If, after a license is issued, the host community finds that all applicable zoning or other applicable ordinances are no longer complied with, they are authorized to issue a noncompliance letter.
(5) Upon issuance of a letter of noncompliance, the applicant for a license shall have all rights of appeal under the provisions of chapter 24 of title 45 as to zoning issues and any other rights to appeal that may be applicable as to the determination of noncompliance with other ordinances.
(i) In the case of an application or renewal of an existing license for an increase in the acceptance and processing of the amount of (C&D) debris per day, the letter of noncompliance shall stay the issuance of the license allowing the increase until the appeal process provided for herein is final.
(ii) In the case of an application or renewal of an existing license that does not request an increase in the acceptance and/or processing of the amount of (C&D) debris per day where the applicant for renewal has timely filed an appeal as contained herein, the letter of noncompliance shall not be used as grounds for denial of the approval of the renewable license; however, if, upon final determination by a zoning board or court of competent jurisdiction upon appeal, it is found that the facility is in noncompliance, the license shall be revoked by the director.
(d) The local fire chief, or his or her designee, is authorized to conduct random, unannounced inspections of facilities licensed under this section to ensure continued compliance with the approved fire protection plan. If any facility at the time of inspection is found not to be in compliance with the approved plan, that facility shall immediately cease operation until the time that it corrects any deficiency and the local fire chief, or his or her designee, finds the facility is in compliance with the approved fire protection plan.
(e) Any facility that is found to be in violation of the fire protection plan under this section on three (3) separate inspections, within any three-year (3) time period, shall have its license to operate under this section revoked.
(f) A municipality that desires to evaluate available technologies, equipment, or methodologies for managing solid waste may request approval from the director to perform a limited demonstration pilot project prior to submission of an application for a license. Demonstration projects shall not exceed fifty (50) tons per day maximum capacity. The municipality must first submit to the director, for approval, plans and specifications, including fire protection plans and other related data as required by the director. The municipality shall also give public notice of the request and allow a thirty-day (30) period for the director to receive public comment on the proposed project. After the close of the public comment period, the director is authorized to approve or deny the request. Approval for a demonstration pilot project shall be granted for a period not exceeding six (6) months.
(g) Any facility that is licensed or registered by the department under this chapter as of July 1, 2006, that accepts greater than three (3) cubic yards of tree waste as defined by § 23-18.9-7(14), shall be considered an existing tree waste management facility. Existing tree waste management facilities shall notify the department and the local fire chief of the existence and scope of their tree waste management activities in writing no later than August 30, 2006, and shall incorporate tree waste management activities in a revised operating plan as part of the next renewal of their license or registration.
(h) Any construction and demolition (C&D) debris processing facility under this section that is within a one thousand feet (1,000') radius of a residential zone district shall conduct all operations covered under the license inside the confines of an enclosed, permanent building.
(i) Granting of a license, license renewal, or permission for an equipment addition under this section shall in no way affect the applicant's responsibility to comply with all zoning and other local ordinances, nor the applicant's responsibility to obtain any local permits, except as specifically provided by Rhode Island General Law. When multiple uses are in place on a site with a licensed solid waste facility, the terms and conditions of the license are only applicable to the activities and operations subject to the license and not the other uses of the property.
(P.L. 1974, ch. 176, § 4; G.L. 1956, § 23-46-8; P.L. 1979, ch. 39, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 23-18.9-8; P.L. 1994, ch. 212, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 172, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 231, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 175, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 180, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 60, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 64, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 193, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 210, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 355, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 387, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 54, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 61, § 1.)