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Challenging a state agency's inappropriate wetland decision.

After a developer proposed to build a house on land that is 97 percent wetland, CLF jumped into the fray, calling widespread attention to a decision by the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) to approve the proposal. CLF filed a motion seeking reversal of the decision, calling the vote indefensible. The firestorm of negative publicity toward CRMC and the developer caused the developer to retract his proposal and donate the land to the town of Narragansett.

CLF, however, is concerned about the larger implications of CRMC's decision to approve the project. CLF has called for legislative oversight hearings to ensure that CRMC's decisions are made on the basis of fact, and with Rhode Island's environmental integrity at the center of the decision-making process. "CRMC was specifically created to protect and manage the state's coastal resources," Cynthia Giles, director of CLF Rhode Island, said. "The Council is not doing its job when it can ignore the advice of professional staff about environmental harm, disregard state regulations and give no explanation as to why it would approve an ill-conceived proposal."

CLF has asked the state legislature to conduct hearings into the reasons for the decision and the changes needed to prevent a similar decision from happening again.
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Title Annotation:Rhode Island
Publication:Conservation Matters
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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