Policy for Pre-Application Meetings

The Office of Customer and Technical Assistance (OCTA) is a non-regulatory program located in the Department’s Bureau of Environmental Protection. The Office provides assistance to the general public, state and local governments, and the business community concerning compliance with rules, regulations, environmental standards, and the permitting process.

Pre-application meetings are an important component of the permitting process. The Department recommends these meetings for large projects that may involve more than one permit, for applicants that are not familiar with the Department’s permitting process, or for any applicant that may have questions about permitting their project.

Scheduling Meetings

Meetings can be scheduled by contacting Ron Gagnon at (401) 537-4013 or Joseph Antonio at (401) 537-4008.

Meeting Guidelines

Meeting requests for wetland projects that have no edge determination, or have not been the subject of a previous application, are handled by OCTA. If the site has a wetlands edge determination, or has been the subject of a previous wetlands application, a wetlands supervisor or other staff will participate in the meeting.

For projects involving Air Pollution Control, Hazardous or Solid Waste Management, Storm Water or Waste Water Discharges, Above Ground or Underground Storage Tanks, Septic System Design, or any other Department permitting program, appropriate staff from each program will participate.

Site plans, environmental reports, or other project information can be submitted to the Office of Customer and Technical Assistance before the meeting, or brought to the meeting, to help ensure that all permitting issues can be addressed.

Pre-application meetings are intended to provide an applicant with a clear understanding of the types or permits that will be required, the information that must be submitted as part of a permit application, and the process the department will follow in reviewing and making a decision concerning the application.

The meetings re not intended to review specific issues concerning regulatory decisions that must be made as part of the permit review process. The Department will provide explanations of specific rules but will not make decisions concerning how they may apply to a specific project until the project is fully reviewed under the permitting process.

A summary letter is issued after the meeting to the party that requested the meeting, with copies to all that attended.

Service Alert

DEM's Permit Application Center (PAC) at DEM Headquarters in Providence is here to assist you. Please contact (401) 537-4014 or email DEM.PAC@dem.ri.gov with questions or if you wish to set up an appointment for other services.

If you are seeking assistance for Freshwater Wetlands, please contact (401) 222-6820 or DEM.FWW@dem.ri.gov. If you are seeking assistance for OWTS/Septic Systems, please call (401) 222-3961 or DEM.OWTS@dem.ri.gov