[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Coventry as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Pawtuxet River Protection
[Adopted 11-9-1987 by Ord. No. 5-87-0145 (Ch. 18, Art. III, of the 1991 Code)]
It is the purpose of this article to:
Protect the environment, especially the Pawtuxet River and its environs, from the effects of improper or illegal disposal of waste.
Establish a program of regulation and enforcement to control and eliminate the improper or illegal disposal of wastes.
Protect and promote public health and safety.
The Town Council does hereby find that disposal of waste, garbage, trash and abandoned man-made objects along the banks of the Pawtuxet River constitutes a hazard to the public health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Town. In recognition of the ever-increasing environmental problems resulting from demands made upon the land and the renewable resources of the Town, and in recognition of the need to preserve and protect one of the Town's most valuable natural resources, the Pawtuxet River, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town to provide for the preservation of the Pawtuxet River, the development of the water resources and the improvement of its water quality, in order to prevent the impairment of dams and reservoirs by sediment or any waste material and to protect wildlife and preserve the natural beauty of the river and its banks for the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Town. Nothing in this article shall be inconsistent with laws or rules and regulations adopted by or for the State Department of Environmental Management.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- The discharge, deposit, dumping, spilling, leaking, abandoning or placing of waste upon land protected by this article.
- OCCUPIER OF LAND
- Includes any person who holds title to or is in possession of any lands lying within 200 feet of the Pawtuxet River, whether as owner, renter, lessee, tenant, municipality or otherwise.
- PAWTUXET RIVER
- Includes the physical boundaries of the Pawtuxet River, as well as the ponds, brooks, streams and tributaries that empty into the Pawtuxet River, as such boundaries or water bodies are located in the Town.
It shall be unlawful for any occupier of land to dispose of or deposit or allow to be disposed or deposited any waste on such land on any property located in the Town which is within 200 feet of the Pawtuxet River. Any person found in violation of this section, or who shall counsel, aid or abet any person in the violation of this section, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $500. Each day of noncompliance shall be a separate violation of this section.
Once a complaint has been brought to or by the police under § 240-4, a notice of violation shall be sent to the person involved. The notice may be hand-delivered by a police officer or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested. Refusal to accept the certified mailing shall be deemed to constitute prima facie evidence of its receipt.
Upon receipt of the notice, the person involved shall remove the violating waste from the property within 30 days of receipt of the notice.
Failure to comply with the notice of violation within 30 days will result in prosecution for violation of this article.
Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the immediate arrest and prosecution of any person found in violation of § 240-7, whether or not a notice of violation was issued.
The notice of violation, once served upon the person involved, shall be recorded in the land evidence records of the Town in the same manner as a notice of violation for minimum housing standards. If the person notified is not the property owner, the property owner shall be served with a copy of the notice of violation, which shall be plainly identified as a copy.
In any prosecution or proceeding under this article, the land evidence records of the Town shall constitute prima facie evidence that the owner of the property was the person who disposed or deposited waste material upon the property where such violation occurred.
It shall be unlawful for any person not an occupier of land to dispose or deposit any waste upon the property of another located in the Town which is within 200 feet of the Pawtuxet River. Any person found in violation of this section, or who shall counsel, aid or abet any person in the violation of this section, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $500. Each day of noncompliance shall be a separate violation of this section.