§ 45-2-17. Regulation of liquefied natural gas facilities.
(a) For purposes of this section, the definition of “liquefied natural gas” as stated in § 39-1-2 applies.
(b) Purpose. The General Assembly hereby recognizes the importance of establishing procedures and standards for the supervision and regulation by the state and by the cities and towns of the use, storage, transportation, location, construction, and maintenance of liquefied natural gas and liquefied natural gas storage facilities. The establishment of these procedures and standards is hereby declared to be a reasonable exercise of the police power of the general assembly and necessary to afford the highest possible degree of protection against the potential hazards of explosion and fire presented by the use, transportation, storage, and location of liquefied natural gas. The general assembly hereby declares also that it is in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare that the use, storage, transportation, and location of liquefied natural gas or liquefied natural gas facilities be supervised, regulated, and controlled in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(c) From and after June 4, 1976, no liquefied natural gas storage facility, including any facility for which any application is pending before any state or local governmental body or agency on June 4, 1976, shall be established nor shall construction of the facility be commenced or storage of the gas begin or any permit or license be issued reasonably related to the facility unless and until the public utilities commission of the state of Rhode Island issues a final approval and license in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(d) The public utilities commission, the division of fire safety, and every town and city shall each promulgate and adopt rules and regulations or enact ordinances establishing procedures and standards for the supervision, regulation, and control of the use, location, construction, storage, and maintenance of liquefied natural gas and liquefied natural gas storage facilities.
The procedures for the adoption and promulgation of the rules and regulations shall be those provided in chapter 35 of title 42.
(e) Before any permit or license may be issued for the construction, or location, of a liquefied natural gas facility or for the storage of liquefied natural gas, the following procedures must be followed and complied with:
(1) All permit or license applications must also be filed with the public utilities commission and the state fire marshal’s office.
(2) Prior to the issuance of any permit or license there shall be a public hearing with notice given by the city or town where the storage area or facility is proposed to be located or where the liquefied natural gas is proposed to be stored. Notice of the hearing shall be given at least two (2) weeks before the date set for the hearing and shall be given on at least three (3) separate occasions prior to the hearing date. Notice shall be by advertisement in a local or statewide newspaper, whichever has the greater circulation in the city or town where the site is to be located or where the storage is proposed to be. Notice shall be by block advertisement of at least two and one half (21/2) inches by two and one half (21/2) inches square. The notice shall state the subject matter of the hearing and the date, time, and place of the hearing.
(3) The city or town council must review and give final approval as to any decision granting the issuance of a license or permit pertaining to the siting or location of the facility, the building or construction of the facility, and the storage of the liquefied natural gas with notice and public hearings required as set forth in subsection (e)(2) of this section.
(4) Upon the granting of the final approval of a city or town on the issuance of a license or permit as set forth in subsection (e)(3) of this section and before issuance of the permit or license, a permit must be applied for, approved, and issued by the state fire marshal’s office and the public utilities commission in accordance with the general laws of the state of Rhode Island and the rules and regulations established by the respective state agencies.
(f) The provisions of this section are in addition to any and all other conditions or provisions of applicable law and are not to be construed to be in amendment of or in repeal of any other applicable provision of law.
History of Section.
P.L. 1976, ch. 270, § 4.