State agency escapes silo by renaming “Office of Waste Management” to “Land Revitalization and Sustainable Materials Management”

This news is a bit late to be called “news” but it’s significant and worth reporting. It deals with the age-old problem of local agencies doing great work renewing individual properties, but largely in isolation, which reduces the potential benefits to the community.

This will be of special interest to the many REVITALIZATION readers in the public sector who are working to get government agencies out of their individual silos so they can be more effective at contributing to the revitalization of the city, county, state or nation for which they are responsible.

Back on April 22, 2020, the state of Rhode Island‘s Office of Waste Management officially changed to Office of Land Revitalization and Sustainable Materials Management.

As part of DEM’s Environmental Protection Bureau, the new name aims to showcase the Office’s goals to restore a healthier environment and accelerate economic revitalization and better encompasses the breadth of activities that the Office handles each day.

On the facility “permitting” side, staff manage a wide range of topics including underground storage tank (UST) facilities; hazardous, solid, and medical waste facilities, and all the recycling programs from electronics to food waste.

On the “remediation” side, program staff oversee Superfund clean ups, Department of Defense sites, remediation of brownfield sites, leaking UST’s, the State’s Brownfield Bond, landfill closures, and more.

“Land Revitalization” acknowledges the link between successful environmental cleanup and transforming a brownfield site into a reusable piece of property.

Both phases are critical to success and most importantly improving the livability of Rhode Island’s communities.

Sustainable Materials Management emphasizes the recycle/reuse goals and zero waste concepts which are the ultimate aim of managing waste and materials.

Here are the office’s active programs:

  • Underground Storage Tank Management – Registration and Modification of Underground Storage Tank Systems (UST program), as well as, the clean-up of Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST program). Aboveground Tank Registration;
  • Solid, Hazardous, and Medical Waste – Generation, transportation, treatment, recycling, and disposal of regulated wastes. Also, included are the closure of active and inactive landfills and Beneficial Use Determination (BUD) permits;
  • Contaminated Site Cleanup – These programs include the investigation and remediation of sites contaminated with hazardous materials;
  • Site Remediation Program – Investigation and remediation of sites contaminated with hazardous materials and petroleum, which includes the redevelopment and reuse of sites commonly known as brownfields; and
  • Superfund and Department of Defense Program – Includes Brownfields, Superfund, Department of Defense Clean-ups, and evaluation of sites on EPA’s CERCLIS list for consideration of action under the Superfund Program.

Photos courtesy of Office of Land Revitalization and Sustainable Materials Management.

See Office of Land Revitalization and Sustainable Materials Management website.

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