Port Operations Regulations and Berthing Management System (250-RICR-50-00-1)


250-RICR-50-00-1 ACTIVE RULE EMERGENCY RULE

Title 250 Department of Environmental Management
Chapter 50 Coastal Resources
Subchapter 00 N/A
Part 1 Port Operations Regulations and Berthing Management System (250-RICR-50-00-1)
Type of Filing Amendment
Regulation Status Active
Effective 05/28/2020 to 09/25/2020

Regulation Authority :

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 42-17.1-1 et. seq., 46-5-1 et. seq., and 46-22-1 et. seq.,
R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 32-2-4 and 42-17.10-1
R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-35-1 et. seq.

Purpose and Reason :

The purpose of this regulation is to align the regulations governing dockside sales at Pier 9 in Newport with the new, statewide licensing opportunities for direct sales of seafood afforded by 250-RICR-90-00-15.  The alignment addresses, on a limited basis, the COVID-19-based economic hardships facing the RI commercial and seafood industry, and food insecurities facing RI consumers, by supporting the development of new, local supply chains for RI seafood.

Brief statement of Reason for Finding Imminent Peril :

On April 17, 2020, the Department filed 250-RICR-90-00-15, as an emergency action, to enact a new Direct Sale Dealer License, issued by DEM. The license authorizes the direct sale of certain species of finfish directly to consumers and licensed seafood retailers from the vessel on which they were harvested. The license also authorizes the sale, and transport for sale, of live lobsters and crabs directly to consumers and licensed seafood retailers from the vessel on which they were harvested. The new license has been issued to 92 applicants to date. It has enabled many RI commercial fishermen to maintain viable business operations, while providing RI consumers and RI restaurants with direct access to RI seafood. It has provided a vital and necessary boost to the local seafood economy during the ongoing economic crisis. The regulations governing the new Direct Sale Dealer License specify that use of the license must be consistent with applicable municipal ordinances governing commercial operations and retail sales, as well as applicable laws, regulations and policies governing port and marina operations. Accordingly, for berth holders at Pier 9, the new Direct Sale Dealer License can only be used consistent with the regulations and policies governing dockside/direct-sale activities at Pier 9. The regulations governing dockside sales at Pier 9 are set forth at Part 1.10 of 250-RICR-90-00-15. Pursuant thereto, berth holders may only sell lobsters and crabs at Pier #9 via the Newport Lobster Shack in association with the Fishers of Newport. That limitation has prevented berth holders from availing themselves of the full opportunities afforded by the new Direct Sale Dealer License, resulting in inequities and competitive disadvantages vis-à-vis other licensees in RI. The berth holders at Pier 9, in coordination with the Newport Lobster Shack Cooperative, seek an emergency regulatory action to establish equal footing with others in the RI commercial fishing industry. As is the case with 250-RICR-90-00-15, this amendment to 250-RICR-50-00-1 will be interim, with a 120-day effective period.