The general assembly hereby finds and declares as follows:
(1) The bays, rivers, and associated watersheds of Rhode Island are unique and unparalleled
natural resources that provide significant cultural, ecological, and economic benefit
to the state, and it is in the best interest of the state and its citizens to preserve,
protect, and restore our bays, rivers, and associated watersheds.
(2) The formation of the Rhode Island Bays, Rivers, and Watersheds Coordination Team,
pursuant to chapter 46-31 of the general laws, provides for the coordination of the
functions, programs, and regulations that affect the bays, rivers, and watersheds
and serves as the most effective way to transcend the limited responsibilities and
jurisdictions of each agency, to address complex issues using an ecosystem-based approach,
and to provide for continuity over time.
(3) Discharges of wastewater from wastewater treatment facilities, despite the fact
that these discharges are carefully regulated and monitored, are known sources of
pollution that affect the water quality of the bays, rivers, and associated watersheds
of Rhode Island.
(4) Wastewater treatment facilities collect wastewater both from users of sewer systems,
who pay fees for the utilization of the systems, and from septage transporters, who
collect septage from users of onsite sewage disposal systems.
(5) All persons or entities generating pollutants that affect Rhode Island's bays,
rivers and watersheds, including those who utilize onsite sewage disposal systems,
should be required to contribute to the costs of providing effective pollution control,
mitigating environmental degradation of ecosystems, restoring impaired ecosystems,
and monitoring the environment to characterize the impacts of the pollutant loadings,
including changes that may occur as the level of treatment is improved.
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