Advocacy Group Files Clean Water Petitions with State of R.I.

By ecoRI News staff

The Conservation Law Foundation recently filed petitions with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to combat stormwater pollution in Bailey’s Brook and North Easton Pond on Aquidneck Island and Mashapaug Pond in Providence. The petitions call on the agency to require Clean Water Act permits from properties polluting these waters with contaminated stormwater runoff.

“No one should be given a free pass to pollute Rhode Island waters,” James Crowley, a Conservation Law Foundation staff attorney, said. “Years of toxic runoff have endangered our waters, closed our beaches, and threatened important wildlife habitats. Our communities deserve to enjoy these areas without being sickened by toxic pollution that has gone unchecked for decades. The state has the power to hold these polluters accountable.”

During rain or snowmelt, runoff from streets, parking lots, and construction sites carry oil, grease, sediment, and other pollutants into the waters of Aquidneck Island and Mashapaug Pond. Aquidneck Island has experienced beach closures and the contamination of one of its drinking water sources as a result of this pollution. Mashapaug Pond hasn’t been safe for drinking, fishing, or swimming in decades.

The Bailey’s Brook and North Easton Pond and Mashapaug Pond petitions call on the Department of Environmental Management to use its power to require Clean Water Act permits for the properties surrounding these waters to limit the amount of pollution from runoff.