CRMC council continues to ignore staff recommendations

CRMC council continues to ignore staff recommendations

by Topher Hamblett, director of advocacy

Save The Bay has unfortunately discovered yet another incident of CRMC’s volunteer council ignoring the guidance of the agency’s professional staff. This time, at its December 13 meeting, the council declined to follow staff recommendations on an important requirement in the permitting process for offshore wind cabling placement.  

Citing a law that requires “approval, disapproval, or conditional approval by the direct enactment of the general assembly by legislative action,” (Rhode Island General Law § 46-23-1(f)(2)) on large-scale filling projects, staff recommended bringing a part of the permitting process before the General Assembly. The council decided to move forward without doing so.

(Remember: while the volunteer council has the authority to override staff recommendations, its members are not required to have any relevant expertise.)

We believe that this is another in a long series of problematic council actions—including the Champlin’s Marina debacle—that is a reminder of the immediate need for CRMC reform.

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