§ 46-15.2-5. Application to assistance program.
(a) Applicants shall submit projects proposed for assistance under this program to the water resources board, in the form and content prescribed by the board. The board shall coordinate the review and disposition of all applications by all agencies concerned in an expeditious manner. The board shall incorporate the information required by all agencies to conduct their review of proposals in its application documents.
(b) Upon receipt of an application, the board shall determine whether the application is complete and contains all necessary information. Incomplete applications shall be returned to the applicants. Complete applications shall be formally acknowledged by the board.
(c) The board shall forward a copy of each application accepted to the division of public utilities and carriers, to the state planning council, to the department of health and to the department of environmental management. Review of applications by these agencies shall be conducted concurrently.
(d) The water resources board shall evaluate each application to determine whether all requirements of §§ 46-15-1 and 46-15-3 have been met, and shall further ensure that:
(1) Design and engineering of the project are sound, as provided in § 46-15.2-4(g);
(2) The applicant has adequately demonstrated that a need exists in its community for the water that would be provided by the project;
(3) The project links a water source with a water distribution system, as set forth in § 46-15.2-4(e);
(4) The distribution system owned or to be owned by the applicant has or will continue to have sufficient capacity to carry the projected volumes of water, as set forth in § 46-15.2-4(e);
(5) The proposed water source is adequate to meet the applicant's needs and will have sufficient capacity to serve all future demands imposed by the applicant in combination with all other users, as set forth in § 46-15.2-4(e);
(6) The quality of the water meets the standards established by the Rhode Island department of health water quality regulations for the purpose intended, as provided in § 46-15.2-4(f);
(7) The project incorporates sound conservation techniques as provided in § 46-15.1-5; and
(8) The project is properly related to all other water systems serving adjacent or nearby areas in terms of interconnections and mutual support.
(e) The division of public utilities and carriers shall review the financing aspects of all projects, particularly with respect to costs that will be imposed on water users as a result of the project. The division shall perform an analysis of the proposed costs and benefits of the project and shall, on the basis of its findings, make a determination as to whether approval of the project is in the best interests of the water users. If the division determines the project is in the best interests of the water users, it shall approve the project. If the division determines that the project is not in the best interests of the water users, it shall disapprove the project. Since the division's review must be based on estimated costs and interest rates, the full financing costs will not be precisely known. The absence of specificity concerning the finance of costs must be considered by the division.
(f) The state planning council shall review all proposed projects to determine whether they are consistent with all relevant elements of the state guide plan. Upon determination that a project is consistent with all relevant elements of the state guide plan, the state planning council shall render its approval. Upon a determination that the project is not consistent with all relevant elements of the state guide plan, the council shall disapprove the project. The state planning council will provide the policy framework necessary to guide this program through the state guide plan.
(P.L. 1983 (S.S.), ch. 332, art. II, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 461, § 7; P.L. 1999, ch. 461, § 3.)