General Assembly passes limits on C&D facilities

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EAST PROVIDENCE — A combined bill that would put new and more stringent limits on so-called “C&D” processing in areas adjacent to residential neighborhoods authored by East Providence politicians is on its way to the governor for his signature.

The legislation, written in the Senate by Daniel DaPonte (D-Dist. 14) and in the House by Katherine Kazarian (D-Dist. 63), was passed concurrently in the General Assembly Thursday, June 19. All that’s left is for Gov. Lincoln Chafee to sign the bill into law.

The revised statute requires all Construction and Demolition (C&D) processors to obtain a license to operate no matter the amount of material the business receives. It eliminates the minimum 50-ton per day requirement. In addition, it brings smaller facilities in line with the same zoning regulations and guidelines set by the State Department of Environmental Management.

The key component to the legislation is making mandatory all processing be conducted indoors if the facility is located within a 1,000-foot radius of residentially zoned areas. This part of the legislation directly affects any future operation at 1 Dexter Road in East Providence, the former site of the controversial Pond View recycling plant. Dexter Road is in the legislative districts for both Sen. DaPonte and Rep. Kazarian.

“I think this legislation represents a thoughtful compromise,” Sen. DaPonte said at the time the upper chamber passed his bill back in late May.

“What it does is put reasonable limits on these facilities so that they can continue to be profitable while ensuring that a lot of the noise and dust cropping up in a lot of these complaints are contained indoors,” he continued. “We certainly don’t want to discourage business in Rumford, but we simply must protect the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Essentially, this bill is asking these businesses to be good neighbors. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request.” 

In other Pond View related news, its license to operate from the state was recently sold by the court-appointed receiver administering the company’s bankruptcy. The successful bidder in the process was a Providence-based recycling operation, which is expected to take the license with it back to the Capital City for use there.

Though still zoned commercial, anyone wishing to operate a C&D in East Providence at the 1 Dexter Road site would have to reapply with the city for a license and be subject to the new laws put in place.

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