§ 46-15.1-2. Board created Appointment of members.
(a) There is hereby authorized, created and established a water resources board consisting of fifteen (15) members as follows:
(1) Eleven (11) members shall represent the public and shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate as herein provided;
(i) One of whom shall be a person who is actively engaged in the agricultural business, preferably an owner and/or operator of an agricultural business, with respect to which appointment the governor shall give due consideration to the recommendation of the Rhode Island Agricultural Council established pursuant to the provisions of chapter 3 of title 2;
(ii) One of whom shall be a representative of a conservation organization, with respect to which appointment the governor shall give due consideration to the recommendation of the Environment Council of Rhode Island;
(iii) One of whom shall be a professional with expertise in geology and/or hydrology;
(iv) One of whom shall be a professional with expertise in engineering with relevance to water supply;
(v) One of whom shall be a professional with expertise in financial planning and/or investment;
(vi) One of whom shall be a professional with expertise in land and/or watershed management;
(vii) One of whom shall be a representative of a public water system that withdraws more than one hundred thousand (100,000) gallons per day, primarily from a surface water supply;
(viii) One of whom shall be a representative of a public water system that withdraws more than one hundred thousand (100,000) gallons per day, primarily from a ground water supply;
(ix) One of whom shall be a representative of a water user that withdraws more than one hundred thousand (100,000) gallons per day; and
(x) Two (2) of whom shall be members of the general public.
(2) No person shall be eligible for appointment to the board unless he or she is a resident of this state. The remaining four (4) members are the director of environmental management, the director of the Rhode Island commerce corporation, the associate director of the division of planning within the department of administration, and the director of the department of health.
(3) Members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified and shall be eligible to succeed themselves. In the month of February in each year, the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint successors to the public members of the board whose terms shall expire in such year, to hold office commencing on the day they are qualified and until the first day of March in the third year after their respective appointments and until their respective successors are appointed and qualified.
(b) Those members of the board as of the effective date of this act shall continue to serve until their term expires or they resign, whether or not they meet the criteria set out in subsection (a);
(c) Any vacancy which may occur in the board for a public member shall be filled by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, for the remainder of the unexpired term in the manner as prescribed in (a) of this subsection. Each ex officio member of the board may designate a subordinate within his or her department to represent him or her at all meetings of the board.
(d) Members of the board shall be removable by the governor pursuant to § 36-1-7 of the general laws and for cause only, and removal solely for partisan or personal reasons unrelated to capacity or fitness for the office shall be unlawful.
(e) The water resources board is designated to carry out the provisions of this chapter. In exercising its powers under this chapter, the board constitutes a body politic and corporate and a public instrumentality of the state having a distinct legal existence from the state and not constituting a department of the state government. The board may take action under this chapter at any meeting of the board. A member of the board who is affiliated with a public water system in Rhode Island, as provided in § 46-15-2, shall not thereby be disqualified from acting as a member of the board on a transaction under this chapter with a public water system. Upon the enactment of this chapter, and annually in the month of March thereafter, the board shall choose a treasurer to act as such under this chapter. The treasurer need not be a member of the board or of its staff and shall serve until his or her successor is chosen and takes office, unless sooner removed by the board with or without cause. In the event of a vacancy in the office of treasurer, the board shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.
(f) Nothing contained herein shall be construed as terminating or discontinuing the existence of the water resources board as it exists prior to July 1, 1993 for purposes of chapters 15.1, 15.2, and 15.3 of this title, and the water resources board created hereby shall be and shall be deemed to be a continuation of the water resources board as it existed prior to July 1, 1993 for the purposes enumerated in chapters 15.1, 15.2, and 15.3 of this title. Nothing contained herein shall affect the bonding or financing authority of the water resources board as it exists prior to July 1, 1993 nor shall anything contained herein be construed as terminating, altering, discontinuing, or in any way impairing the bonding or financing power of the water resources board as it exists under chapters 15.1, 15.2, and 15.3 of this title prior to July 1, 1993.
(P.L. 1970, ch. 304, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 461, § 5; P.L. 1991, ch. 44, art. 19, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 461, § 2; P.L. 2001, ch. 180, § 154; P.L. 2001, ch. 216, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 104, § 2; P.L. 2006, ch. 126, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 340, § 49; P.L. 2009, ch. 288, § 7; P.L. 2009, ch. 341, § 7.)