§ 46-12.2-8. Procedures for application, approval, and award of financial assistance.
(a) Any local governmental unit, person or corporation may apply to the agency for financial assistance in accordance with this chapter to finance all or any part of the cost of a water pollution abatement project. The agency shall not award financial assistance to a local governmental unit, person or corporation until and unless the department shall have issued a certificate of approval of the project or portion thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, for water pollution abatement projects funded outside of the water pollution control revolving fund, the Rhode Island water pollution control revolving fund, or the local interest subsidy trust fund, the agency may provide financial assistance without the requirement of the issuance of a certificate of approval, and such projects shall not be required to be listed on the department's priority list as set forth in this chapter.
(b) If the department shall determine, in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter, that an application for financial assistance or portion thereof shall be approved, it shall deliver to the agency a certificate of approval of the project or a portion thereof which shall specify the project or portion thereof eligible for financial assistance and such other terms, conditions and limitations with respect to the construction and operation of the project as the department shall determine. The agency shall specify, among other things, the type and amount of financial assistance to be provided, the costs thereof eligible for financial assistance, the amounts, if any, of the financial assistance, to be provided from the water pollution control revolving fund and/or the Rhode Island water pollution control revolving fund, the amount, if any, of subsidy assistance to be granted from the local interest subsidy trust fund, the amount, if any, of other financial assistance permitted by this chapter to be provided, and such other terms, conditions, and limitations on the financial assistance, the expenditure of loan proceeds, and the construction and operation of the project as the agency shall determine or approve.
(c) Any water pollution abatement project or portion thereof included on the priority list established by the department for federal fiscal year 1989 or any federal fiscal year thereafter shall be eligible for financial assistance in accordance with this chapter.
(d) In addition to the authority provided by law, the department shall be responsible for, and shall have all requisite power to, review and approve reports and plans for water pollution abatement projects and approved projects, or any part thereof, for which financial assistance has been applied or granted in accordance with this chapter, to enter into contracts with local governmental units, persons or corporations relative to approved projects, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the costs of approved projects eligible for financial assistance, grants, and other terms, conditions and limitations with respect to the construction and operation of the project, and to inspect the construction and operation thereof of projects in compliance with approved plans. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, in connection with the exercise of its powers and performance of its duties under this chapter, the department shall have all the powers provided by law to the department and its director. The department shall adopt rules, regulations, procedures, and guidelines to carry out the purposes of this chapter and for the proper administration of its powers and duties under this chapter. The rules, regulations, procedures, and guidelines shall include among other things, criteria for determining those water pollution abatement projects to be approved for financial assistance (the criteria shall include the priority determination system), specification of eligible costs of the projects, and provisions for compliance by projects constructed in whole or in part with funds directly made available under this chapter by federal capitalization grants with the requirements of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1351 et seq., and other federal laws applicable to the project. The department shall cooperate with the agency in the development of capitalization grant applications, operating plans, and intended use plans for federal capitalization grant awards under title VI of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1381 et seq., and may enter into such agreements and other undertakings with the agency and federal agencies as necessary to secure to the state the benefits of title VI of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1381 et seq. In order to provide for the expenses of the department under this chapter, the agency shall transfer to the department for application to the expenses an amount from the water pollution control revolving fund equal to the maximum amount authorized by federal law, and such additional amounts as may be needed from the Rhode Island water pollution control fund and from any other monies available. The agency and the department shall enter into an operating agreement and amend the same, from time to time, allocating their respective rights, duties, and obligations with respect to the award of financial assistance and grants to finance approved projects under this chapter and establishing procedures for the application, approval, and oversight of projects, financial assistance, and grants.
(e) Upon issuance of a certificate of approval, the agency shall award as soon as practicable the financial assistance to the local governmental unit, person or corporation for any approved project specified in the certificate; provided, however, the agency may decline to award any financial assistance which the agency determines will have a substantial adverse effect on the interests of holders of bonds or other indebtedness of the agency or the interests of other participants in the financial assistance program, or for good and sufficient cause affecting the finances of the agency. All financial assistance shall be made pursuant to a loan agreement between the agency and the local governmental unit, person or corporation, acting by and through the officer or officers, board, committee, or other body authorized by law, or otherwise its chief executive officer, according to the terms and conditions of the certificate of approval and such other terms and conditions as may be established by the agency, and each loan shall be evidenced and secured by the issue to the agency of local governmental obligations or non-governmental obligations in fully marketable form in principal amount, bearing interest at the rate or rates specified in the applicable loan agreement, and shall otherwise bear such terms and conditions as authorized by this chapter and the loan agreement.
(f) The agency shall adopt rules, regulations, procedures, and guidelines for the proper administration of its financial assistance programs and the provision of financial assistance under this chapter. The rules, regulations, procedures, and guidelines shall be consistent with the requirements of title VI of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1381 et seq., and any rules, regulations, procedures, and guidelines adopted by the department, and may include, without limitation, forms of financial assistance applications, loan agreements, and other instruments, and provision for submission to the agency and the department by a local governmental unit, person or corporation of the information regarding the proposed water pollution abatement project, the wastewater system of which it is a part, and the local governmental unit or corporation as the agency or the department shall deem necessary, to determine the eligibility of a project for financial assistance under this chapter, the financial feasibility of a project, and the sufficiency of general revenues or wastewater system revenues to secure and pay the loan and the local governmental obligations or non-governmental obligations issued to evidence the project. The agency shall, no later than December 31, 2015, enter into an agreement with the Rhode Island commerce corporation to ensure collaboration for brownfields and energy efficiency related projects to which the agency provides financial assistance to corporations.
(g) Subject to the provisions of any trust agreement securing bonds of the agency, when the agency shall have awarded a loan eligible for subsidy assistance from funds held by the agency for the credit of the local interest subsidy trust fund, the agency shall credit to the applicable account in the fund maintained in accordance with § 46-12.2-6(e), the amount, if any, as provided in the loan agreement to defray all or a portion of the interest otherwise payable by the local governmental unit, person or corporation on the loan.
(h) In addition to other remedies of the agency under any loan agreement or otherwise provided by law, the agency may also recover from a local governmental unit, person or corporation, in an action in superior court, any amount due the agency together with any other actual damages the agency shall have sustained from the failure or refusal of the local governmental unit or corporation to make the payments.
(P.L. 1989, ch. 303, § 2; P.L. 1993, ch. 259, § 2; P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 14, § 17.)