WARWICK -- The City Council on Monday voted final passage of an ordinance specifically protecting Buckeye Brook from dumping.
Mayor Scott Avedisian, who signed the ordinance into law Tuesday, said "It seemed to me it was just an affirmation of the importance of Buckeye Brook environmentally. I didn't see that there was anything in the ordinance that wasn't already prohibited."
The brook supports an annual run of several species of herring, which enter the brook at Mill Cove on Narragansett Bay and swim upstream to spawn in Warwick Pond and Spring Green Pond. For years, the run has been threatened by stormwater discharge from T.F. Green Airport, which contains oxygen-depleting chemicals used to deice aircraft.
The new ordinance lists airport runoff as a form of dumping, but focuses mainly on materials that members of the Buckeye Brook Coalition often have to cart away from the banks of the brook: construction materials, demolition debris, tires, shopping carts and household appliances.
Under the ordinance, landowners who border the brook, whether individuals or agencies, are presumed to be the source of any waste left in or near the brook. The ordinance says residents should report any known violations to the Warwick police.
Approved unanimously, the ordinance was sponsored by council members Carlo Pisaturo, Helen Taylor, Charles J. Donovan Jr. and Donna M. Travis.