Posted inCity & Government

Public Notice Proposed Town of Westerly Clean Water Infrastructure Replacement Plan Update

Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is seeking public comment on the 2022 Town of Westerly Water Supply Division Clean Water Infrastructure Replacement Plan update.
The Town of Westerly Water Supply Division has developed an update to its Clean Water Infrastructure Replacement Plan (CWIRP). This updated CWIRP is being noticed in accordance with Chapter 46-15.6 of the General Laws of Rhode Island and the “Clean Water Infrastructure Plan” Regulations (216-RICR-50-05-7). The updated document can be found at the link below. All material submitted for review is available for public inspection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Rhode Island Department of Health, Center for Drinking Water Quality, Three Capitol Hill, Room 209, Providence, RI 02908. Written comments should be sent to the Center for Drinking Water Quality at the address above or emailed to DOH.RIDWQ@health.ri.gov within thirty (30) days of the date of this notice. Please call RIDOH at 401-222-6867 for further information. For individuals requesting communication assistance, call Rhode Island Relay (TTY) at 711 or 800-745-5555 at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance.
A public hearing on the proposed document will be held if RIDOH receives such requests from a minimum of twenty-five (25) people, a governmental agency or subdivision, or an association having twenty-five (25) members or more. If a public hearing is held, a public notice will be published announcing the date, time, and place of such hearing. A stenographic record of the hearing will be made, and the public record will be kept open for seven (7) days following the conclusion of the public hearing to allow additional time for the submission of written comments. The location of the public hearing will be accessible to the handicapped. Interpreter services for people with hearing impairment and audiotapes for people with vision impairment will be made available. RIDOH is handicap accessible to individuals with disabilities.

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Public Notice of Intent to Issue an Amended Categorical Exclusion to Newport Water Department

Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is seeking public comment on intent to issue an amended Categorical Exclusion.
The Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health has reviewed for approval the amended request by the Newport Water Department for an amended Categorical Exclusion determination for proposed improvements to their public water system. The improvements will be financed using Drinking Water State Revolving Loan funds and consist of the replacement of approximately 2,000 linear feet of 6-inch cast iron water main with new 8- or 12-inch ductile iron water main, the relocation of approximately 450 linear feet of water main in preparation for planned Rhode Island Energy gas control locations, the installation of butterfly valves, the replacement of 310 feet of 2-inch water main with 6-inch ductile iron, and the replacement of existing water services to from the old main to the new main as required. The work includes temporary bypass installation, where necessary, the removal and replacement of appurtenances (valves, hydrants, and services), and the associated full depth temporary asphalt restoration of street excavations and permanent restoration of excavations at street intersections, sidewalks, and grassy areas, in the Town of Newport, Rhode Island.
Under authority of Chapter 46.12-8 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, it has been determined that there are no environmental impacts associated with this project. Therefore, the Director of RIDOH is hereby giving notice of intent to issue a Categorical Exclusion for the proposed project pursuant to the requirements and authority set forth in Chapter 46-12.8 of the General Laws of Rhode Island and the “Drinking Water State Revolving Fund” Regulations (216-RICR-50-05-6).
Copies of the Categorical Exclusion supporting documentation can be obtained by calling 401- 222-6867 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by writing to the Center for Drinking Water Quality, Three Capitol Hill, Room 209, Providence, RI 02908. All material submitted for review is available for public inspection during these hours at the above location. Written comments on the Categorical Exclusion should be sent to the Center for Drinking Water Quality at the address above or emailed to DOH.RIDWQ@health.ri.gov within thirty (30) days of the date of this notice. Individuals requesting communication assistance may call Rhode Island Relay (TTY) at 711 or 800-745-5555 at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance.
A public hearing on the Categorical Exclusion will be held if RIDOH receives such requests from twenty-five (25) people, a governmental agency or subdivision, or an association having twenty-five (25) members or more. If a public hearing is held, a public notice will be published announcing the date, time, and place of such hearing. A stenographic record of the hearing will be made, and the public record will be kept open for seven (7) days following the conclusion of the public hearing to allow additional time for the submission of written comments. Interpreter services for people with hearing impairment and audiotapes for people with vision impairment will be made available. RIDOH is handicap accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Posted inCity & Government

New Emergency Shelter officially opens in Providence

PROVIDENCE, RI – In a continuing effort to address chronic street homelessness in Rhode Island, the McKee Administration today announced the official opening of a new shelter facility in Providence. The facility on Hartford Avenue began receiving couples seeking shelter on Saturday as a result of the dangerous cold snap that hit our region.
The new shelter will operate 40 beds at a state-owned property on Hartford Avenue in Providence. Crossroads Rhode Island was selected to manage day-to-day operations at the site and will be responsible for administering shelter and supportive services to unhoused Rhode Islanders in need. Working within the state’s Coordinated Entry System, Crossroads plans to operate the Hartford Avenue site as a dedicated Emergency Couples’ Shelter. While priority will be given to couples, individuals may be eligible for shelter and services based on the availability of beds on any given night.
“Outfitting this previously vacant state-owned property as a shelter is one of many steps our Administration is taking to provide additional, immediate resources in a time of clear need,” said Governor Dan McKee. “We thank the team at Crossroads Rhode Island for their hard work in operationalizing this site on a short timeframe, and we remain committed to working alongside our nonprofit partners and municipal leaders to continue connecting unhoused Rhode Islanders with shelter and services that connect them to permanent housing.”
“This emergency shelter will help keep couples together in the immediate term, while also enabling these couples to pursue a path toward longer-term affordable housing,” said Rhode Island Secretary of Housing Stefan Pryor. “We’re glad that this facility was available over the weekend — even before its official opening – given the extreme cold and wind that Rhode Island experienced. It is important that we continue to provide new shelter beds to Rhode Islanders who are unhoused – even as we invest in permanent housing opportunities at every income level. Thank you to the terrific team at Crossroads and the alliance of State agencies – including the Departments of Administration and Housing – who brought this facility to life. And thank you to the remarkably nimble team at Amos House who operated this center this weekend.”
“The housing crisis in Rhode Island is the most urgent issue facing the state and it requires an all-hands approach to address. The Hartford Avenue Shelter will provide couples and adults experiencing homelessness with a safe, warm, and predictable place to stay during the winter. As importantly, it will provide an opportunity for our housing problem-solvers to work with our shelter guests to find a permanent apartment,” said Crossroads Rhode Island CEO Karen Santilli. “We appreciate the partnership with Governor McKee and newly appointed Housing Secretary Pryor which has allowed for a creative use of an underutilized state property to provide emergency shelter to confront the immediate homeless crisis. As we work together to keep people safe this winter, I am hopeful that we will also remain committed as a state to building additional housing for people experiencing homelessness so we can avoid the need for these kinds of emergency shelters in the future.”
The Hartford Avenue shelter is funded through FY23 SFRF Homeless Assistance resources. Its opening comes as the Administration continues to make immediate investments in Rhode Island’s housing landscape, including addressing the issues of housing insecurity and homelessness in Rhode Island through a medical respite care pilot program and standing up low-barrier solutions like the 24/7 Warming Station at the Cranston Street Armory; supporting prospective homeowners with a $30 million first-time homebuyers assistance program; and releasing $166 million in funding to support affordable housing development in Rhode Island.
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Posted inCity & Government

In advance of extreme cold, Governor McKee reminds Rhode Islanders to take precautions

In advance of the extreme cold expected this weekend, the McKee Administration is reminding all Rhode Islanders about ways to stay healthy and safe.
According to the National Weather Service, Rhode Island will experience temperatures and wind chills below freezing Friday, February 3 into Saturday, February 4. Extreme cold can cause hypothermia, frostbite, and can contribute to events like household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. The best way to protect your health against extreme cold is to prepare yourself, your home, and your car before extremely cold weather.
Prepare yourself:
–Dress in layers.
–Cover exposed skin. Wind chills this low may result in frostbite on exposed skin in as few as 15 minutes.
–Limit outdoor time.
–Add blankets to your home’s emergency kit.
–Eat frequently. Food gives the body energy to produce heat.
–Do not drink a lot of alcohol or caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine cause your body to lose heat faster.
–Check on older family and friends; infants and older adults are more at risk for health problems related to extreme temperature.
–Your baby should wear the same layers adults would comfortably wear plus one additional layer. Avoid using one big, bulky blanket.
–Know the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite.
Prepare your car:
–Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
–Make a winter emergency kit for your car. Add extra blankets and a windshield.
–Make sure your tires have enough air pressure and that your heater works.
–Check your car’s antifreeze levels.
–Tell your friends and family if you are traveling somewhere. If you can, bring a mobile phone with you.
Prepare your pets:
–Limit outdoor time for your pets.
–Bring outdoor pets inside.
Prepare your house:
–Extreme cold can cause your water pipes to freeze and sometimes break. Leave your water tap open so they drip. Open the cabinets beneath the kitchen sink to let warm air near the pipes.
–Be careful with indoor heaters; keep space heaters three feet away from anything that may catch fire.
–Conserve heat. Don’t open doors or windows unless necessary. Close off unneeded rooms.
–Do not use generators, grills, or camp stoves inside.
–Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning. Put a carbon monoxide detector near your bedroom so you can hear it if you are sleeping.
Watch for warning signs
When exposed to cold temperatures, your body can lose heat quickly and develop frostbite or hypothermia or both. Frostbite most often impacts noses, ears, cheeks, chins, fingers, and toes. Signs of frostbite include discolored (red, white, or greyish-yellow) skin and numbness. If you notice signs of frostbite, get into a warm area as soon as possible and call a healthcare provider. Warm the affected area with warm water or with body heat. Frostbitten areas can be easily burned because they are numb. Do not use hot water, heating pads, or the heat of a stove or radiator for warming.
Signs of hypothermia include shivering; exhaustion; confusion, memory loss, slurred speech; bright red, cold skin in infants, and very low energy in infants. If you notice signs of hypothermia, take the person’s temperature. If their temperature is below 95°F, this is an emergency, and the person should get medical attention immediately.
More information:
–Some cities and towns have warming centers open to those who need shelter during periods of extreme cold. To find a warming center near you, call 2-1-1 or visit: https://riema.ri.gov/planning-mitigation/resources-businesses/warming-centers.
–For information about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, see this resource from the Rhode Island Office of the State Fire Marshal: https://fire-marshal.ri.gov/sites/g/files/xkgbur726/files/documents/safety/alarms.pdf
–For more information, see RIDOH’s page on Winter Health Tips https://health.ri.gov/seasonal/winter/ or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page on Extreme Cold https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/guide.html.