Providence City Council President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal Calls for Restriction of Liquid Propane Gas Storage in Providence

Providence City Council President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal Calls for Restriction of Liquid Propane Gas Storage in Providence

At tonight’s City Council meeting, Council President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal (Ward 10) was joined by his City Council colleagues to pass a resolution preventing the storage of liquid propane gas (LPG) in the City of Providence.

The resolution, as passed by the council, calls on the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) to deny Sea 3 LLC’s petition to import 450,000 gallons of liquid propane by rail into a storage site located in the Port of Providence.

The EFSB has jurisdiction over this matter because the property is qualified as a major energy facility. In order to approve the petition, the EFSB must determine that the project would not have a significant impact on the environment, public health, safety and welfare of the community. Councilman Espinal has been among many voices concerned that this expansion would put the surrounding area at risk of fires, accidents, and poor public health outcomes while also working against city and statewide climate goals.

“Since March of this year, I have been advocating for the rejection of Sea 3 LLC’s petition to ship hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid propane into our neighborhood. I am grateful to my council colleagues and members of the community who have joined me in speaking up for South Providence and for the environmental future of our city,” stated Council President Pro Tempore Espinal.

In addition to the passage of this resolution, the City Council made the first passage of an ordinance prohibiting the storage of LPG’s within the City of Providence. The Council will vote on final passage of this ordinance in January 2022.

“Residents of South Providence have historically been ignored and underrepresented in the decision-making process surrounding the most intensive industrial land uses in the State. We as a community have come together as one voice to clearly state that we do not support any expansion or development in the Port of Providence that may lead to increased safety risks for the local residents. I look forward to moving forward with legislation and public advocacy that will uplift our community and conserve our environment,” added Pro Tempore Espinal.

Providence City Council President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal Calls for Restriction of Liquid Propane Gas Storage in Providence

Statement from Council President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal Regarding Violence in South Providence and Citywide

I am praying for the victims of the shooting incident at a nightclub early Sunday morning in my ward. I am appalled by the flagrant violence which has traumatized my community in recent weeks.

Violence has no place in our city, and businesses that have the privilege of serving the public have an added responsibility of ensuring the safety of their patrons. Establishments that operate in a way that allows disorder and criminal activity to run rampant must be held accountable. We have a collective responsibility as well—community members, elected and appointed officials, and business owners—to take immediate action to identify the individuals and businesses connected to violent incidents and ensure that these events do not go unchecked. And, we also need to invest the time and resources necessary to uncover and address the root causes of crime and violence.

While my ward has been hard hit by devastating incidents recently, including shootings and homicides, this is a citywide problem, and we need citywide solutions. I will continue advocating for public safety and nonviolence initiatives on the City Council, with a focus on making meaningful investments through the American Rescue Plan Act budget which the City Council will be working to adopt over the next several months. The federal recovery funds will give us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to allocate significant resources towards neighborhood safety, diversion services and wraparound support programs to ensure our residents and businesses have the support they need.

My thoughts are with all the victims of crime throughout Providence. They deserve our commitment to ending violence in our community.

Providence City Council President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal Calls for Restriction of Liquid Propane Gas Storage in Providence

Statement from Council President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal Regarding Providence Zoning Board’s Narragansett Improvement Company Decision

I was pleased to learn that last night, the Providence Zoning Board voted unanimously to deny the Narragansett Improvement Company’s Petition for a land use variance for their property at 338 Allens Avenue.

After hearing from a number of constituents and reviewing the petition myself, I was concerned that the proposed use would contribute to the continued degradation of the air quality in South Providence. I wrote a letter to the Zoning Board citing these concerns and calling on the board members to deny the petition.

I commend the members of the Zoning Board for their unanimous decision to protect the local environment in the Port of Providence and the public health of residents in surrounding neighborhoods.

As a City Councilor, I have been a consistent advocate for putting individuals before industry and stopping detrimental expansion of environmentally harmful and dangerous commercial activity in South Providence. I am extremely grateful to everyone who testified last night in support of our community. I look forward to continuing this advocacy with my colleagues in government, community members, business owners and local leaders.

To read the letter that Council President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal sent to the Zoning Board on October 13th, 2021 click here:

City Council Holds First 2022 Meeting

City Council Brings Charges Against & Seeks Removal Of City Clerk Shawn Selleck For Creating Toxic Work Environment

This evening, the Providence City Council voted unanimously to approve a Providence Home Rule Charter Section 403 resolution to bring charges against City Clerk Shawn Selleck, and to seek his suspension or removal from office. The resolution charges Mr. Selleck with the following:

· Violations of the City Code of Conduct

· Violations of the City Anti-bullying Policy

· Violations of the City Anti-harassment Policy

· Violations of the City Workplace Violence Policy

· Creation of a Toxic Work Environment

· Inappropriate Management

The charges contained in the resolution are based on an independent investigation conducted by respected employment and labor attorney Carly Iafrate, which determined Mr. Selleck violated the City’s Code of Conduct, Anti-Bullying, Anti-Harassment, and Workforce Violence policies through a pattern of bullying, confrontational, and intimidating behavior that created a toxic work environment within the City Clerk’s office.

Pursuant to Section 403, these charges will be presented in writing to the Mayor and Mr. Selleck, and after a 30-day period, the Council will call a public hearing to weigh the charges and vote on the suspension or removal of the City Clerk (two-thirds vote of the Council required).

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