TITLE 23
Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-23
Air Pollution

SECTION 23-23-5


§ 23-23-5 Powers and duties of the director.

In addition to the other powers and duties granted in this chapter, the director shall have and may exercise the following powers and duties:

(1) To exercise general supervision of the administration and enforcement of this chapter and all rules and regulations and orders promulgated under this chapter;

(2) To develop comprehensive programs, for the prevention, control, and abatement of new or existing pollution of the air resources of this state on the basis of air quality standards adopted by the environmental standards board;

(3) To advise, consult, and cooperate with the cities and towns and other agencies of the state, federal government, and other states and interstate agencies, and with effective groups in industries in furthering the purposes of this chapter;

(4) To promulgate standards of air quality adopted by the environmental standards board;

(5) To hold hearings, to issue notices of hearings and subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence, and to administer oaths and to take testimony as he or she may deem necessary;

(6) To encourage and conduct studies and research on air pollution and to collect and disseminate this information;

(7) To enter at all reasonable times in or upon any private or public property, except private residences, and to detain and inspect any motor vehicle for the purpose of inspecting or investigating any condition which the director shall believe to be either an air pollution source or in violation of any of the rules or regulations or orders promulgated under this chapter;

(8) To issue, modify, amend, or revoke any orders prohibiting or abating air pollution in accordance with the purposes of this chapter and the rules and regulations promulgated under this chapter. In making the orders authorized by this chapter, the director shall consider all relevant factors including, but not limited to, population density, air pollution levels, and the character and degree of injury to health or physical property;

(9) To accept, receive, and administer grants or other funds or gifts for the purpose of carrying out any of the functions of this chapter including any moneys given under any federal law to the state for air pollution control activities, surveys, or programs;

(10) To require the prior submission and approval of plans, specifications, and other data relative to the construction, installation, and modification of air pollution control systems, devices, or any of its parts, and to inspect the installations and modifications to insure compliance with the approved plans and to require approval to operate the system;

(11) To require the prior submission and approval of plans, specifications, and other data relative to the construction, installation, or modification of any machine, equipment, device, article, or facility capable of becoming a source of air pollution, subject to the promulgation of rules and regulations under this chapter defining the classes and types of machines, equipment, devices, articles, or facilities subject to this approval;

(12) To make, issue, and amend rules and regulations consistent with this chapter for the prevention, control, abatement, and limitation of air pollution, and the enforcement of orders issued under this chapter. Those rules and regulations for the control of pollution need not be uniform throughout the state. The director may prohibit emissions, discharges and/or releases and may require specific control technology. In addition, the director may regulate the emission characteristics of all fuels used by stationary and mobile sources of air contaminants, provided, the specific control technology and emission characteristics of fuels shall not be more stringent than the mandatory standards established by federal law or regulation, unless it can be shown that the control technology and emission characteristics of fuels are needed for the attainment or maintenance of air quality standards. Variations of the standards may be based on considerations of population density, meteorological conditions, contaminant emissions, air quality, land development plans, and any other factors that may be relevant to the protection of the air resources of the state;

(13) To consult the board on the policies and plans for the control and prevention of air pollution;

(14) To exercise all incidental powers necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter;

(15) To require that an approval to operate be obtained for any machine, equipment, device, article, or facility, or any source which is emitting any extremely toxic air contaminant, subject to the promulgation of rules and regulations under this chapter defining the categories and capacities of machines, equipment, devices, articles, or facilities subject to this permission. Any approval issued may set forth inspection, monitoring, compliance certification and reporting requirements to assure compliance with approval terms and conditions;

(16) To require any person who owns or operates any machine, equipment, device, article, or facility which has the potential to emit any air contaminant, or which is emitting any extremely toxic air contaminant, to install, maintain, and use air pollution emission monitoring devices and to submit periodic reports on the nature and amounts of air contaminant emission from the machine, equipment, device, article, or facility;

(17) To require, as a condition, to the grant of any approval, license, or permit required by this chapter, that the person applying for an approval, license, or permit, first pay to the director a reasonable fee based on the costs of reviewing and acting upon the application and based on the costs of implementing and enforcing the terms of the approval, license, or permit;

(18) In addition, the director shall collect an annual operating fee from sources subject to the requirements of an approval to operate under this chapter and subject to the requirements of title V of the Clean Air Amendments of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 7661 et seq. The fee shall be calculated by the director on a weight basis for pollutants actually emitted, after controls. This operating fee shall be determined by regulation and shall be consistent with the fee required under 42 U.S.C. § 7661a(b)(3)(B). The operating fees collected shall not be in excess of the amount needed to cover all reasonable (direct and indirect) costs required to develop and administer an operating permit program pursuant to the requirements of title V, of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990;

(19) No person shall operate any machine, facility, or device which is subject to approval or permit by the department without an approval or permit of the department. No source may operate after an approval or permit has been denied. Any approval or permit issued under this section may be suspended, revoked or amended by the director at any time upon a showing, after notice and hearing, that the permittee has failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter, rules and regulations promulgated by the director pursuant to this chapter, or the terms and conditions of the approval or permit, or upon a showing, after notice and hearing, that the continued operation of the approved or permitted source constitutes a threat to the health and safety of the public or to the environment. In any proceeding for revocation, suspension, or amendment of an approval or permit pursuant to this subsection, the director will provide the affected party with the opportunity for an adequate hearing. No revocation, annulment, or withdrawal of any approval or permit is lawful unless, the agency sent notice by mail to the permittee or possessor of an approval of the facts or conduct or violation which warrant the action, and the permittee or possessor of an approval is given an opportunity at hearing to show compliance with all lawful requirements for the retention of the license. If the agency finds that public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, summary suspension of approval or permit may be ordered pending proceedings for revocation or other action. These proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined;

(20) No approval or permit required under this chapter shall be issued by the director if the approval or permit contains provisions that are determined by the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency not to be in compliance with the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C § 7401 et seq.). The administrator of the EPA shall provide a statement of the reasons for the objection to the director. A copy of the objection and statement shall be provided to the applicant. The director shall withhold the issuance of the approval or permit until the applicant has successfully satisfied the concerns of the administrator of EPA or his or her designee;

(21) The department may establish a small business stationary source technical and environmental compliance assistance program. The department may use general revenue funding to cover the cost of administering this program. The department shall have the power to give grants, and conduct educational and/or outreach programs;

(22) To promulgate regulations to apply at the earliest to the 1993 model year and beyond, relating to emission standards for new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines, warranties for motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, recall of motor vehicles, accreditation of motor vehicle parts, and any other matters relating to the enforcement of these regulations, provided, the regulations so promulgated shall not be more stringent than the mandatory standards established by federal law or regulation, unless the regulations are needed for the attainment or maintenance of air quality standards;

(23) Nothing in this section shall allow the department to administer an inspection and maintenance program for automobiles without approval of the general assembly;

(24) In addition to the powers and duties enumerated in this section, the director shall have all appropriate power to adopt rules, regulations, procedures, programs, and standards as mandated by the authorization of the federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1966, ch. 256, § 1; P.L. 1977, ch. 182, § 9; G.L. 1956, § 23-25-5; P.L. 1979, ch. 39, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 23-23-5; P.L. 1980, ch. 24, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 502, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 361, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 395, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 370, art. 40, § 69.)