Proposed changes would create standards for renewable energy-generation systems for enrolled farmland
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to "Rules and Regulations for Implementation of the Farm, Forest and Open Space Act".
WHAT: Review and Comment on Proposed Amendments to Rules & Regulations for Implementation of the Farm, Forest, and Open Space Act
WHEN: Monday, November 27, 2017 – 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street, Providence // Room 300
In accordance with legislation passed in 2017, the amendments propose to create a "dual-use" designation for farmland enrolled in the Farm, Forest and Open Space (FFOS) program. "Dual-use" land would not be subject to a land use change tax if the landowner converts no more than twenty percent of the total acreage of land actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use to a commercial renewable energy system. The updated rule would allow farmers to supplement their income with dual-use, renewable energy-generating systems while maintaining the land below and surrounding for agricultural purposes.
DEM continues to work across many fronts to strengthen Rhode Island's green economy and assist local farmers in growing their businesses. Rhode Island is one of few states nationally where the number of farms is on the rise. There are more than 1,200 sprinkled across the state, a 44 percent increase since 2002. The state's green industries account for more than 15,000 jobs and contribute $2.5 billion to the economy each year.
Written and oral comments will be accepted at the November 27 public hearing, and written comments can also be submitted to DEM by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, December 11, 2017 per the public notice. The formal public notice of rulemaking and proposed rule amendments are under "Proposed" at http://dem.ri.gov/regulations.
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