Environmental Advocacy Unit
Environmental Advocacy Unit continued its community-based mission to
enhance public enjoyment of Rhode Island’s environment. For example, the
Attorney General obtained an additional $714,000 for air pollution control
projects in R.I., bringing the total award from a particular Clean Air Act
suit against out-of-state polluters to nearly $2,000,000. Indeed, this
year saw a portion of that two million dollar award come to fruition in
the form of the actual installation a solar panel array on the RIPTA bus
garage in Providence.
The Environmental Advocacy Unit’s mission is to enhance public enjoyment of Rhode Island’s environment.
In a joint effort by Attorney General Kilmartin and the Department of
Environmental Management (DEM) the Unit released a new training guide to
assist law enforcement in making dog rescues involving
illegally-trafficked animals and to prevent animal cruelty.
Although located in the Civil Division, the Unit intersects with the
Criminal Division. Building on Attorney General Kilmartin’s promise to
create an Environmental Crimes Task Force, the Unit brought together
federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to facilitate the
successful prosecution of environmental crimes. Members of the task force
include the State Police, the Police Chief’s Association, the DEM
(including the Division of Enforcement, the Bureau of Natural Resources,
and the Office of Compliance & Inspection), the CRMC Enforcement Division,
the U.S. Attorney’s Office and EPA’s Criminal Investigative Division.
In 2013, the Attorney General Kilmartin maintained his suit seeking to
enforce the public’s rights to enjoy a nearly two-mile section of the
Misquamicut beach-front. The suit seeks to enjoin specific beach-front
lot-owners from interfering with the public’s right to use this dry sand
area, alleging that this strand was dedicated by a recorded 1909
The Attorney General also continued efforts to reduce greenhouse gases
in a series of federal cases, one of which comes before the United States
Supreme Court in February, 2014.
The Unit also brought litigation to enforce R.I.’s environmental laws
upon referral by DEM. Following up on the success in securing a court
order for the removal of an illegal marina on the Kickemuit River in 2012,
the Office of Attorney General Kilmartin, through the Unit, assists the
Derelict and Abandoned Vessel and Obstruction Removal Commission in
clearing waterways of debris.