With its bird-filled marshes and wooded hummocks, Ninigret Pond in Charlestown, Rhode Island often resembles the Everglades. Photo/BoatingLocal, Tom Richardson.

EcoRI.org: A bill that strips Rhode Island cities and towns from enacting setbacks near wetlands and septic systems is again creating a rift.

Environmentalists see the legislation as a threat to drinking-water supplies and believe it opens the door for new construction in sensitive habitats, particularly in coastal areas and other wetlands.

Proponents say the bill gives developers uniform guidelines for building across Rhode Island.

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