Title 46
Waters and Navigation

Chapter 12.7
Oil Spill Prevention, Administration and Response Fund

R.I. Gen. Laws § 46-12.7-14

§ 46-12.7-14. Board of arbitration.

(a) The director shall establish a disputed claims processing capability within the department to hear and determine claims filed under this chapter that are not agreed upon by the claimant and the director and any responsible party who has joined as an interested party.

(b) An independent hearing examiner appointed by the commissioner shall hear and determine any disputed damage claims. The hearing examiner shall be an individual with appropriate qualifications. The parties to the hearing are the director and the claimant.

(c) To the extent practical, all claims arising from or related to a common oil spill must be heard and determined by the same hearing examiner.

(d) Hearings before the hearing examiner are informal and the rules of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings are not binding. The hearing examiner may administer oaths and require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, recourse, and other evidence relative or pertinent to the issues presented to the hearing examiner for determination.

(e) Determinations made by the hearing examiner are final and those determinations may be subject to review by a justice of the superior court, but only as to matters related to abuse of discretion by the hearing examiner. The party seeking review of a hearing examiner’s determination must file an appeal in the superior court within thirty (30) days of the determination. Determinations made by the hearing examiner must be accorded a presumption of regularity and validity in a subsequent reimbursement action, but this presumption may be rebutted by responsible parties.

(f) The director shall certify the amount of the damage award, if any, after determination by the hearing examiner and shall certify the name of the claimant to the treasurer of the state.

History of Section.
P.L. 1996, ch. 289, § 4.