Environment

PVD Ordinance Committee passes two measures limiting fossil fuel expansion

Both pieces of legislation need to pass the full City Council to take effect. The ordinance preventing further expansion of LPG in the Port will have no immediate effect on Sea 3 LLC, since they and their current application will be grandfathered in.
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Published on November 16, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist

The Providence City Council Ordinance Committee passed two measures on a 5-0 vote that seek to limit the expansion of fossil fuel industry in the Port of Providence on Monday. The first was an ordinance to change the zoning in all parts of problem to not allow the storage of LPG (Liquid Propane Gas). The second was a resolution declaring the City Council’s support for a full hearing on the expansion of Sea 3 LLC‘s propane business in the Port. Both pieces of legislation were introduced by City Councilmember Pedro Espinal (Ward 10). Currently, Sea 3 LLC is before the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB), a state agency that regulates energy companies, to get a decision declaring their expansion in the Port a minor expansion not in need of a full hearing. The Rhode Island Attorney General, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Providence City Solicitor are opposing Sea 3 LLC before the EFSB.

Both pieces of legislation need to pass the full City Council to take effect. The ordinance preventing further expansion of LPG in the Port will have no immediate effect on Sea 3 LLC, since they and their current application will be grandfathered in.

The meeting room was full to capacity, with over 20 members of the public in attendance, all but one in support of the legislation. Nearly ten more members of the public were outside the room, not allowed to enter due to Covid restrictions.

Nina Wolff Landau and Jackie Goldman

Councilmember Nicholas Narducci (Ward 4), who chairs the Ordinance Committee, began by telling those in attendance that there would be no public testimony at the hearing. Public comment was taken at a previous hearing of the Ordinance Committee on November 3, 2021 and can be seen here. UpriseRI wrote about that meeting and the issues at the heart of Sea 3 LLC’s expansion here.

Despite saying there would be no public testimony at this hearing, Councilmember Narducci invited Sea 3 LLC attorney Nicholas Hemond to testify. Attorney Hemond demurred, saving Councilmember Espinal (and UpriseRI) the trouble of objecting.

The measures now move on to the full City Council for a vote.

You can watch the Ordinance Committee hearing here:

Sea 3 LLC attorney Nicholas Hemond (right) in conversation with Providence City Councilmember Nicholas Narducci (left) and the city clerk (center) before the hearing

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