TITLE 23
Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-18.9
Refuse Disposal

SECTION 23-18.9-9.1


§ 23-18.9-9.1 Disposal of solid waste over drinking water sources.

(a) The general assembly recognizes and declares that disposal of solid waste on or in the ground overlying underground drinking water sources is not an environmentally sound solid waste management practice, and that such disposal could threaten the public health with contamination of existing and future municipal drinking water supplies.

(b) Solid waste landfill facilities shall be prohibited in the following areas:

(1) Watersheds of existing surface drinking water supplies;

(2) Watersheds of the proposed Big River Reservoir;

(3) Groundwater recharge areas designated by the director as GAA pursuant to chapter 13.1 of title 46,and ground water protection areas designated by duly adopted zoning ordinances, pursuant to § 45-24-33(a)(7) and/or § 45-24-33(a)(20) and approved by the water resources board;

(4) One hundred (100) year flood plains;

(5) Areas within two hundred feet (200') of the coast and/or coastal high hazard areas;

(6) Areas designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States Department of Commerce as a national estuarine sanctuary;

(7) Coastal barriers;

(8) Wellhead protection areas as designated by the director.

(9) Notwithstanding all of the preceding, any landfill site must include the acquisition and maintenance of a heavily vegetated buffer zone of at least 600 feet (600') between any working face or excavated area and adjacent property. Further, the outer limit of any landfill site must be located at least twelve hundred feet (1,200') from the center line of fresh water rivers as determined by the state planning council which shall include but not be limited to the following: Ashaway River, Beaver River, Blackstone River, Chepachet River, Clear River, Falls River, Flat River, Hunt River, Moshassuck River, Moosup River, Narrow River, Pawcatuck River, (also known as the Charles River) and its tributaries, Pascoag River, Pawtuxet River and Wood River.

(c) Incinerators and resource recovery facilities shall be prohibited in the following areas:

(1) Coastal high hazard areas;

(2) Wellhead protection areas as designated by the director;

(3) Areas designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States Department of Commerce as a national estuarine sanctuary;

(4) Coastal barriers.

(d) The state planning council may, except for statutorily mandated sites, designate other areas where solid waste landfills, incinerators, and resource recovery facilities are prohibited.

(e) Where an existing solid waste management facility-landfill overlies the groundwater reservoir or groundwater recharge area designated by the municipality in accordance with subsection (b), the director is authorized to order cessation of solid waste disposal operations and closure of the landfill under the following conditions:

(1) The municipality has, after notice and public hearing, by resolution to the director, requested the director to determine whether the continued operation of any solid waste management facility-landfill on or over the reservoir or recharge area presents a hazard to the public drinking water source; and

(2) The director after investigation, notice, and hearing to the landfill, determines that the existing solid waste management facility-landfill does present a hazard to the public drinking water source.

(f) Any party aggrieved by a decision of the director under this section may obtain judicial review of the decision in accordance with the provisions of §§ 42-35-15 and 42-35-16 of the Administrative Procedures Act. In addition, the owner of an existing solid waste management facility-landfill, may bring a civil action in the superior court in which the solid waste management facility-landfill is located that the decision by the director of environmental management constitutes a taking under chapter 6 of title 37, as amended, and shall be entitled to petition the superior court to recover just compensation.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1982, ch. 33, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 23-18.9-8.2; P.L. 1989, ch. 508, § 7; P.L. 1989, ch. 514, §§ 7, 9; P.L. 2004, ch. 577, § 1.)