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RI Coastal Resources Management Council

...to preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders

In accordance with notice to members of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, a meeting was held on Tuesday, March 28, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in Conference Room A, Administration Building, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI.

Members Present
Anne Maxwell Livingston, Chair Mike Hudner
Ron Gagnon, DEM Rep
Don Gomez
Patricia Reynolds
Paul Beaudette
Jerry Sahagian
Tony Affigne
Joy Montanaro

Members Excused
Raymond Coia

Staff Present
Grover Fugate, Executive Director
Jeffrey M. Willis, Deputy Director
David Beutel, Aquaculture Coordinator
Jim Boyd, Coastal Policy Analyst
Dan Goulet, Marine Infrastructure Coordinator
Anthony DeSisto, Legal Counsel

1. CALL TO ORDER

Chair Livingston called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING

Chair Livingston called for approval of the minutes from the previous meeting.

Mr. Paul Beaudette motioned for the approval of the minutes from the February 28, 2017 Semimonthly meeting; seconded by Mr. Gomez. Motion carried on unanimous voice vote.

3. STAFF REPORTS

Mr. Fugate reported the following to the Council:

  • Habitat Advisory Board and Fishermen’s Advisory Board attended a meeting on Deepwater’s Federal Water project, South Wharf Development, which is associated with Long Island EPA for 15 towers. The SAMP encourages these meetings with advisory groups to that fishermen get involved in cable routing to avoid conflicts.
  • On April 26th there will be a meeting of the Fishermen’s Advisory Board regarding a project in MA called Danish Oil and Natural Gas, DONG, the largest European construction firm in the offshore. They’ve partnered with MA entity and are going forward in the project. Mr. Fugate explained that there are two windfarm leases off New York, four off Massachusetts and one off Rhode Island. Mr. Fugate explained that CRMC has jurisdiction, through the OSAMP, over any cable crossing that come in through State waters. Mr. Fugate updated the Council explaining that there leases going forward in North Carolina, one in Virginia, one in Maryland, three leases in New Jersey and Delaware is still considering it.
  • Beach SAMP meeting will be held at 10:00 am on April 18th after Planning and Procedures Subcommittee meeting
  • Senator Whitehouse and Mr. Fugate will be giving a talk on climate change on April 10th at the Blue Cross building and the talk will be sponsored by Audubon Society
  • In May, going Mr. Fugate will be going to DC to receive the Peter Benchley award on behalf of the Council.
  • National Grid has provided additional material that staff is reviewing in order to prepare reports for Council review which will be on April 25th and May 11th. Mr. Fugate explained that the draft of the EIS from FERC had not been received as of yet. Other venues are being sought, trying to get all three conference rooms at the Department of Administration for the meeting. Mr. Affigne suggested other places in the area of the National Grid LNG project so that attendance would be easier for people affected and also suggested we talk to the Mayors office about providing a police detail. Locations suggested were: Johnson & Wales, Save The Bay, Juanita Sanchez, Narragansett Bay Commission, Roger Williams Middle School, Community College of Rhode Island.

4. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

None were heard.

5. REQUEST FOR EXTENSION BEFORE THE FULL COUNCIL FOR DECISION:

2004-07-096 CATHERINE MILONE – Extension #4 -- Construct and maintain a single family dwelling with driveway. Located at Plat 333, lots 9 & 10; Wuddall Avenue, Warwick, RI.

Mr. Willis gave a brief overview of the application explaining that the management procedures allows for four extensions; the first three would be approved administratively and the fourth would be reviewed by the Council. Mr. Willis explained that the application was approved in 2004 and sought three extensions during which the tolling legislation came into effect. Mr. Willis stated that their assent is due to expire and the applicant has asked for 4th and final extension. Mr. Willis stated that CRMC Enforcement staff went to the site and found that all appears to be in order. Mr. and Mrs. Milone were in attendance. Mr, Willis confirmed for Mr. Gomez that the assent was due to expire on June 5, 2017.

Mr. Sahagian motioned for approval of one year extension. Mr. Hudner seconded the motion. Motion carried.

6. APPLICATIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN OUT-TO-NOTICE AND ARE BEFORE THE FULL COUNCIL FOR DECISION:

2016-11-075 ASC REALTY CO. LLC -- Expand the allowable slip length from 2,833’ by 566’ or a total of 3,389’. The proposal is to also expand the existing Marina Perimeter Limit in keeping with an agreement with the southern neighbor RIDEM. Located at plat 16, lot 235; 1 Washington Street, Newport, RI.

Mr. Goulet gave a brief overview of the application explaining that the applicant was asking to expand the boatyard without an increase in boat count. Mr. Goulet explained that the applicant was asking for a 556 foot long expansion of the docks making it just under a 20% expansion. Mr. Goulet stated that they needed the expansion because of a new travel lift at the location and much larger vessels which call at the marina for service. Mr. Goulet stated that the boatyard has all the other requirements necessary in a destination harbor including parking on site. Mr. Goulet stated that the stipulated in the permit for additional signage for public access.

Mr. Goulet went through staff stipulations explaining that the first stipulation was for a marine pump- out with a firm date of December 31st to complete. This stipulation reiterates RIDEM MOU requirement.

Mr. Goulet confirmed for Mr. Gomez that the applicant has no problem with the staff stipulations.

Chair Livingston confirmed that there were no objections in the agenda package and no objectors present.

Mr. Sahagian motioned for approval of application with staff stipulations. Mr. Hudner seconded the motion.
Motion carried on unanimous voice vote.

2016-10-036 DAVID LOVESKY, et al -- Establish a one acre bottom plant oyster farm in Quonochontaug Pond, Charlestown, RI.

Dave Beutel gave a brief over of the application stating that it is a group of people who have applied for a one acre site for a bottom planting using no gear. Mr. Beutel explained that the applicants addressed all items listed in their Preliminary review and applied for bottom planting at a site south of the original requested site to avoid eel grass and a perceived navigation issue. Mr. Beutel stated that the site will be tended by scuba. Mr. Beutel explained that the Shady Harbor Association concerns were alleviated as it there is only a 50-foot radius around scuba divers. Mr. Beutel stated that CRMC staff viewed this application with no issues, there would be no equipment so that would be no navigation problems and the site is small.

Mr. Beutel confirmed that the applicants would be growing oysters to sell.

Mr. Beutel confirmed that corner markers with reflective tape would mark the one acre area.

There was no opposition.

Mr. Gomez motioned for approval of the application. Mr. Hudner seconded the motion. Motion carried on unanimous voice vote.

2016-08-092 EAST BEACH OYSTER CO., LLC -- Expand and reconfigure an existing aquaculture site to be a 13.22 acre site for the bottom culture of oysters and quahogs. Located in Ninigret Pond, Charlestown, RI.

Mr. Beutel gave a brief overview of application explaining that the applicant was requesting an expansion of an existing 7+ acre farm area to the south of existing site on overwash fan where there is a low density of native shellfish. Mr. Beutel explained that the technique in the area of expansion would be bottom planting of oysters and quahogs. Mr. Beutel stated that there were no staff objections as the application meets our program standards and regulations.

Mr. Gomez motioned approval, with the inclusion of the DEM requested stipulation of working hours between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Mr. Sahagian seconded the motion. Motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.

2016-07-061 JEFFREY GARDNER -- Expand an existing fully utilized aquaculture site in Winnapaug Pond by 4.08 acres. If approved the total area of this site would be 7.35 acres. The methods proposed are rack and bag and bottom plant for oysters and hard clams. Located in Winnapaug Pond, Westerly, RI.

Mr. Beutel gave a brief overview of the application stating that the aquaculturist was requesting an expansion of the existing site in Winnapaug pond. Mr. Beutel stated that Mr. Gardner had the oldest active aquaculture lease in Rhode Island. Mr. Beutel stated that the expansion location was moved to be adjacent to his current operation to appease DEM whose objections during the PD process were based on migratory waterfowl and potential recreational shellfish. Mr. Beutel stated that through his review process he determined that shellfish density in this area is 0.4 quahogs per square inch. Mr. Beutel stated that Mr. Gardner has been extremely successful in this area over the past 20 years using all the same methods with no new techniques. Mr. Beutel stated that there was one comment during the notice period stating that aquaculture was using too much of the coastal pond. Mr. Beutel explained that the pond usage due to aquaculture was at 2.99%

There were no objectors present.

Mr. Beaduette motioned to approve with a second from Mr. Hudner. Motion carried on unanimous voice vote.

7. PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE COASTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT PROGRAM MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES:

Summary of Proposed Amendment to Management Procedures:

The purpose of the proposed regulation change is to reformat CRMC Management Procedures into the RI Code of Regulations (RICR) specified format and eliminate some existing text and notations, and codify some existing notations in conformance with the RICR and the Administrative Procedures Act R.I.G.L. § 42-35.

Mr. Boyd explained that the reason for the change to the Management Procedures is due to the new RI Code of Regulations (RICR) new format. Mr. Boyd also explained that they were taking the opportunity during this format change to make three corrections (minor) and make on addition. Mr. Boyd stated that the addition was due to comments made by Save the Bay asking that the language for advertising CRMC meetings be changed to include Council meetings. Mr. Boyd explained that Save The Bay asked for further changes but that CRMC felt that, at this time, their change request went above and beyond the reformatting of the Management Procedures. Mr. Boyd stated that through meeting with Save The Bay it was relayed that they could make a request for regulatory change. There was discussion regarding the process of regulatory change and the process for RICR reformatting.

Mr. Affigne and Mr. Beaudette asked why the Save The Bay requested changes were not brought to Council attention. Mr. Boyd stated that the Save The Bay comments were in the Agenda Package and that they were also brought before the Planning and Procedures Subcommittee.

Mr. Fugate explained that CRMC is one of the state’s major agencies for regulatory management and that Mr. Boyd was working very hard at making sure that all of the CRMC regulations are reformatted within the timeframe required, 2018, or the regulations that are not reformatted will no longer exist as a regulation. Mr. Fugate stated that CRMC is second to RIDEM in terms of regulations. Mr. Gagnon confirmed. Chair Livingston confirmed that P & P Subcommittee reviewed the changes and made the recommendation to bring them before the Council for adoption.

Mr. Affigne added that due to his teaching schedule it is difficult for him to attend the P&P meetings in Wakefield on a Tuesday morning and apologized that he was not able to bring up his concerns at the subcommittee level. Mr. Affigne expressed his concern at putting the letters of objection at the end of agenda packages. Mr. Affigne asked that CRMC respond to Save The Bay formally, expressing CRMC’s willingness to discuss their concerns.

Chair Livingston stated that she did not think there is anything wrong with stating that our policy is reformatting alone.

Mr. Hudner was in agreement with Mr. Affigne in reaching out to Save The Bay regarding their concerns with CRMC regulations.

Mr. Fugate confirmed that Mr. Boyd and CRMC staff has had those conversations with Save The Bay, and that Save the Bay are aware of what CRMC’s responsibilities are. Mr. Fugate also informed the Council that CRMC staff meets with Save The Bay on a quarterly basis to discuss regulations.

Mr. Boyd explained that even with the Council adoption of the Management Procedures at this meeting, he needs to file the approved changes with the Office of Regulatory Reform along with an explanation on how we did or did not respond to comments received and supply a copy of the comments.

Mr. Willis explained that he sends a report to NOAA every six months reporting on the CRMC meetings held and regulatory changes made along with a copy of the changes.

Mr. Hudner made a motion to close the public hearing. Mr. Affigne seconded. Motion carried on unanimous voice vote.

Mr. Affigne motioned to approve the regulations with changes. Mr. Beaudette seconded.

Motion carried on unanimous voice vote.

9. ADJOURN

Mr. Affigne motioned, seconded by Ms. Montanaro, to adjourn.

Motion carried on unanimous voice vote. Meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa A. Turner
Recording Secretary

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