TITLE 46
Waters and Navigation

CHAPTER 46-12.9
Rhode Island Underground Storage Tank Financial Responsibility Act

SECTION 46-12.9-8


§ 46-12.9-8. Advisory board.

(a) There is hereby authorized, created, and established the "underground storage tank advisory board," to have such powers as are provided herein.

(b) The advisory board shall consist of seven (7) members, as follows: the director of the department of environmental management, or his or her designee, who shall be a subordinate within the department of environmental management. The governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint six (6) public members, one of whom shall have expertise and experience in financial matters. In making these appointments the governor shall give due consideration to recommendations from the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Oil Marketers Association, the Oil Heat Institute, the Environment Council, the Independent Oil Dealers Association, and the Rhode Island Marine Trade Association. The newly appointed members will serve for a term of three (3) years commencing on the day they are qualified. Any vacancy which may occur on the board shall be filled by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as the member's predecessor as prescribed in this section. The members of the board shall be eligible to succeed themselves. Members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified. No one shall be eligible for appointment unless he or she is a resident of this state. The members of the board shall serve without compensation. Those members of the board, as of the effective date of this act [July 15, 2005], who were appointed to the board by members of the general assembly, shall cease to be members of the board on the effective date of this act, and the governor shall thereupon nominate three (3) members, each of whom shall serve the balance of the unexpired term of his or her predecessor. Those members of the board, as of the effective date of this act [July 15, 2005], who were appointed to the board by the governor, shall continue to serve the balance of their current terms. Thereafter, the appointments shall be made by the governor as prescribed in this section.

(c) The advisory board shall meet at the call of the chair. All meetings shall be held consistent with chapter 46 of title 42.

(d) The advisory board and its corporate existence shall continue until terminated by law. Upon termination of the existence of the advisory board, all its rights and properties shall pass to and be vested in the state.

(e) The advisory board shall have the following powers and duties, together with all powers incidental thereto or necessary for the performance of those stated in this chapter:

(1) To elect or appoint officers and agents of the advisory board, and to define their duties:

(2) To make and alter bylaws, not inconsistent with this chapter, for the administration of the affairs of the advisory board. Such bylaws may contain provisions indemnifying any person who is, or was, a director or a member of the advisory board, in the manner and to the extent provided in § 7-6-6 of the Rhode Island nonprofit corporation act;

(3) To oversee, review, and evaluate the condition and performance of the underground storage-tank fund and approve and submit an annual report after the end of each fiscal year to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the secretary of state, of its activities during that fiscal year. The report shall provide information provided by the department, including: an operating statement summarizing meetings held, including meeting minutes, subjects addressed, and decisions rendered; a summary of the advisory board's actions, fees levied, collected, or received, as prescribed in §§ 46-12.9-7 and 46-12.9-11, claims submitted, verified, approved, modified, and denied, as prescribed in § 46-12.9-7, and reconsideration hearings held; a synopsis of any law suits or other legal matters related to the fund; and a summary of performance during the previous fiscal year, including accomplishments, shortcomings, and remedies; a briefing on anticipated activities in the upcoming fiscal year; and findings and recommendations for improvements; and a summary of any training courses held pursuant to subdivision (e)(4). The report shall be posted electronically as prescribed in § 42-20-8.2. The advisory board may make recommendations or suggestions on the claims process and/or the condition and management of the fund, and the department shall respond, in writing, to any of these suggestions or recommendations; and

(4) To conduct a training course for newly appointed and qualified members and new designees of ex-officio members within six (6) months of their qualification or designation. The course shall be developed by the executive director, approved by the board, and conducted by the executive director. The board may approve the use of any board or staff members or other individuals to assist with training. The training course shall include instruction in the following areas: the provisions of chapter 12.9 of title 46, chapter 46 of title 42, chapter 14 of title 36 and chapter 2 of title 38; and the board's rules and regulations. The director of the department of administration shall, within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this act [July 15, 2005], prepare and disseminate training materials relating to the provisions of chapter 14 of title 36, chapter 2 of title 38, and chapter 46 of title 42.

(f) Upon the passage of this act and the appointment and qualification of the three (3) new members prescribed in subsection (b), the board shall elect, from among its members, a chair. Thereafter, the board shall elect annually, in February, a chair from among the members. The board may elect, from among its members, such other officers as it deems necessary.

(g) Four (4) members of the board shall constitute a quorum and the vote of the majority of the members present shall be necessary and shall suffice for any action taken by the board. No vacancy in the membership of the board shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all of the rights and perform all of the duties of the board.

(h) Members of the board shall be removable by the governor pursuant to § 36-1-7 and removal solely for partisan or personal reasons unrelated to capacity or fitness for the office shall be unlawful.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1994, ch. 144, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 180, § 150; P.L. 2001, ch. 328, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 297, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 239, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 317, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 246, art. 27, § 3; P.L. 2008, ch. 371, § 6; P.L. 2009, ch. 5, art. 9, § 10; P.L. 2016, ch. 148, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 160, § 1.)