Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
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Executive Order 96-04
March 13, I996


WHEREAS, because of the failure of Rhode Island to produce a comprehensive dredging plan during the past twenty years, the natural process of silting has adversely affected many channels for the recreational boating industry as well as the commercial marine transportation industry; and

WHEREAS, the issue of dredging has been hampered by the lack of a consensus between interested user croups as well as state and federal agencies which have jurisdiction over dredging (including the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council); and

WHEREAS, the Port of Providence attracted more than 1,779,843 tons of goods in 1995 and the Marine Trades Industry is one of the largest segments of the State's economy, and the maintenance dredging is critical to the continuing vitality of these economic sectors; and

WHEREAS, the United States Army Corps of Engineers is presently developing an Environmental Impact Statement for dredging the Providence River which includes an evaluaticn of potential dredge spoil disposal sites and which will require several additional months to complete; and

WHEREAS, there are important competing interests utilizing Rhode Island's waterways ranging from marine commerce to commercial fishing to recreational uses.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, LINCOLN C. ALMOND, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor under the Constitution of the State of Rhode Island and R.I. Gen. Laws § 30-15-5 it is hereby Ordered that:

1. The Governor's Commission on Dredging is established. The Commission is charged with developing statewide procedures for assessment of dredging requirements and disposal of dredge spoils consistent with the ongoing Environmental Impact Statement process.

2. The Commission shall report back to the Governor within sixty (60) days with recommendations of a proposed policy that coupled with the completion of the Army Corps of Engineers' Environmental Impact Statement on dredge spoil disposal sites will serve as the framework for all future dredging projects.

3. The Commission shall be comprised of nine (9) members, including a chairman, all to be chosen by the Governor. Members shall include:

The Director of the Economic Development Corporation or designee;

The Director of the Department of Environmental Management or designee;

The Governor's Director or Policy or designee;

The Chairperson of the Coastal Resources Management Council or designee;

One representative to be chosen by the Governor from the each of the following organizations:

Rhode Island Marine Trade Association, Save the Bay, Ocean State Fishermen's Association and Rhode Island Petroleum Association; and

One additional public member to be chosen by the Governor.

The Governor may also appoint, one or more ex officio members without voting rights as he deems necessary.

4. The Commission shall meet weekly or as determined by the chairman as required and shall deliver to the Governor a recommended action plan within the next sixty (60) days.

5. All State agencies shall cooperate fully in providing staff and expertise as required by the Commission.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately on the date thereof.

So Ordered:

Lincoln Almond