News & Events

RI DEM Releases Statement Regarding Regulatory Compliance

Statement from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management:

The environmental protection programs at DEM are continuing to adjust to the changing conditions from the COVID-19 pandemic and our highest priority remains the protection of public health and safety, including the health and safety of our staff,  and protection of our environment. Our intention is to recognize the conditions and limitations that currently exist and provide flexibility and relief where needed and appropriate while still maintaining a high level of protection.  Some of those conditions may include difficulties securing equipment, maintaining staffing levels and professional support, and conducting some monitoring activities.  We also recognize the economic stresses that many individuals and businesses are currently experiencing.

We are not providing any broad relief measures or policies.  Businesses and other regulated entities are encouraged to contact DEM with any specific issues that they are encountering that relate to regulatory compliance.  Requests for relief will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Those requests should be specific as to how current conditions related to COVID-19 are causing the issue, the environmental effects of noncompliance if applicable, and what efforts have been made to comply to the highest degree feasible.  The requests should also explain the length of time necessary for the relief and what steps will be taken to return to full regulatory compliance at the earliest opportunity.

We will continue to evaluate this approach as conditions change. DEM continues to conduct inspections and field investigations and will address instances of non-compliance as appropriate. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, all regulatory programs within the Environmental Protection Bureau are fully operational.

You can view the latest RI DEM COVID-19 Updates here.