Department of Environmental Management

If you have a cesspool within 200 feet of a drinking well, a public reservoir, or the coastline, expect to receive a $200 citation in the mail from the Department of Environmental Management. The deadline to replace cesspools with a septic system or to connect to a municipal sewer system has passed.

Cesspools are holes in the ground used to get rid of human waste from buildings. The untreated waste seeps into the soil and contaminates ground and surface waters. A law to phase out cesspools focuses on cesspools within public drinking water supplies or the coastline. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Starting today, the Narragansett Bay Commission will temporarily close a tunnel that’s part of a long-term, massive project designed to meet the federal clean water act. During heavy rains, that tunnel normally stores overflows of sewer and street runoff that are later treated and released into Narragansett Bay. Now the tunnel will be offline for the next three to four weeks.

One of the biggest nostrums these days from conservatives and some elements of the business community is that our governments, at both the state and national levels, should cut down on regulation and oversight of business.

While it makes sense to streamline regulations that hamper small business, in particular, it is also instructive to parse our history for instances where lax regulation caused pain for our people and our economy.

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Anglers can count on trout to fish over the winter season. Officials with the Department of Environmental Management’s Fish and Wildlife Division stocked approximately 2,000 rainbow trout in several ponds statewide during the first two weeks of December.

Those ponds include Carbuncle Pond in Coventry, Barber Pond in South Kingstown, Silver Spring Lake in North Kingstown, and the Wood River with access from Route 165 in Exeter.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The state Department of Environmental Management has begun stocking approximately 6,000 brown and brook trout for the fall freshwater fishing season.

Trout stocking was delayed this year due to elevated water temperatures. In addition, an infestation of blue-green algae prevented the department from stocking trout in Melville Ponds in Portsmouth.

A current fishing license is required for anglers 15 years of age and older wishing to catch a fish.  License fees cost $18 for Rhode Island residents.