PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces real-time, online access to Water Quality Certifications (WQC) and Stormwater Construction (STW) Permits. These permits are issued by DEM’s Office of Water Resources, in accordance the Rhode Island Water Quality Regulations and the Federal Clean Water Act to preserve, protect, and improve the State’s water resources.
The DEM continues to roll out new enhancements that build upon efforts by DEM to provide digital access to freshwater wetlands permits and onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) records and Certificates of Conformance.
“We are excited to offer additional water quality permitting information available electronically to customers,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “This new search tool provides property and business owners, developers, contractors, engineers, government agencies and others with convenient access to needed information and makes it easier for customers to complete the permitting process and/or retrieve historical files by eliminating the need to visit DEM offices to access records in person.”
Director Coit noted that while the development of this new tool was initiated pre-COVID-19 as part of DEM’s ongoing commitment to improving customer service, the launch of the live service was prioritized as part of DEM’s COVID-19 response plan to provide remote access to information for customers and help staff adapt to teleworking.
The new online search tool, available at https://www.ri.gov/DEM/wqcsearch/, is updated daily and includes information on permitting activities administered by the State for WQC applications received after 1992 and for STW applications received after 2016. Users may enter search criteria to view historical information or current permit status for all applications and download approved plans and permit letters for most WQC and STW decisions issued after January 1, 2017.
The new service was developed by DEM through a partnership with the State’s digital services provider, RI Interactive, and is modeled after DEM’s popular, existing online services for other Water Resources programs. Customers are encouraged to explore the suite of permit search tools for information and downloadable documents at dem.ri.gov/waterpermits.