Environment Council of Rhode Island

...building an ecologically healthy future in a sustainable economy

2013 Legislative Agenda

Short Title ECRI's Position
RI Resource Recovery Corporation & Incineration.

Eliminates the prohibition of incinerating solid waste from the statewide solid waste management plan, would allow non-hazardous contaminated soils originating out of state for use on site as daily cover material, and would allow glass to be used as cover material. This act would take effect upon passage.

Oppose
Wood Stove Phase-out.

This act would regulate the phase-out of wood stoves without EPA certification in densely populated residential areas.

Support
Restricting Emergency Rule-Making by DEM & Other Admin Agencies.

This act would establish a rigid schedule for the covered administrative agencies to publish and adopt rules and amendments. It would also prohibit the promulgation of an emergency rule or amendment without the written consent of the governor. This bill would cripple all of DEM's rule-making ability – especially in their Marine Fisheries and Fish & Wildlife divisions where regulatory changes are frequent and necessary.

Oppose
DEM Jurisdiction.

5425Sub A and 0672Sub A
This act would require the Rhode Island division of planning, in consultation with a task force representing diverse interests, to prepare and submit to the governor, the senate president and the speaker of the house, a report that would make recommendations for state standards that addresses onsite waste water treatment systems (OWTS) regulations, and wetlands and watershed planning. This act would not apply to OWTS, maintenance, and cesspool phase-outs.
This act would take effect upon passage.

Oppose
Access To Public Transportation.

This act would require the state properties committee to consider access to public transportation when selecting a site for a public facility and to state specific reasons for the lack of accessibility when they select a site less than one-half (.5) mile from public transportation. The act would also require the committee prepare an annual report to the general assembly to monitor compliance.

Support
Mandating $600,000 Toward Lead Prevention.

Mandates that RI supplement no less than $600,000 toward lead prevention in the event of insufficient federal funds.

Support
Cesspool Removal & Replacement.

This act would require cesspools to be removed and replaced with an ISDS system or connected to a public sewer system within twelve (12) months from the date of the sale of the property or in accordance with a schedule set forth therein. This act would take effect upon passage.

Support
Establishing Executive Office of Commerce.

6063 SUB B
This bill would establish a new executive office of commerce to develop an integrated system of economic development activities in the state. Also create a secretary of commerce to be appointed by the governor.

Oppose
PACE Legislation.

PACE, or Property-Assessed Clean Energy, creates a financing mechanism for homeowners for clean energy and energy efficiency improvements and allows them to repay the loan on their property taxes.

Support
Restricting the Use of Eminent Domain over Conservation Land.

This act would restrict the use of eminent domain over any land which is protected with a conservation or preservation restriction.

Support
Genetically Modified Organisms To Be Labeled .

This act would require that food and food products derived from or containing genetically modified organisms be labeled as such by the manufacturer, retailer or other person before putting it on the market for sale in Rhode Island.

Support
Road & Bridge Revolving Fund Administered by RI Clean Water Finance Agency.

Provides for a municipal road and bridge revolving fund to be administered by the Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency in order to lower the cost of borrowing for road and bridge projects of cities and towns.

Oppose
Community Preservation Act.

Establishes the Rhode Island Community Preservation Act to promote capital investment and development within Rhode Island communities. The act provides a source of funding for such investment and development.

Support
Genetically Modified Organisms To Be Labeled.

This act would require that food or food products produced or made in Rhode Island only, derived from or containing genetically modified organisms be labeled as such by the manufacturer, retailer, or other person before putting it on the market for sale in Rhode Island.

Support
Statewide Solid Waste Mgt Plan & Use of Out of State Non-Hazardous Contaminated Soils Within RI.

Eliminates the prohibition of incinerating solid waste from the statewide solid waste management plan, would allow non-hazardous contaminated soils originating out of state for use on site as daily cover material, and would allow glass to be used as cover material.

Oppose
Creation of a Single Set of Environmental Standards for the State.

This act would establish a single set of environmental standards for the state while reducing local regulatory burden and would prohibit cities and towns from enacting future ordinances which are more restrictive than regulations established by the department of environmental management or the coastal resources management council.

Oppose
Reducing The Gas Tax By Five Cents.

This act would reduce the gasoline tax by five cents ($.05) from thirty-two cents ($0.32) per gallon to twenty-seven cents ($0.27) per gallon.

Oppose
Creation of RI Climate Change Commission/Advisory Committee.

Establishes and appoints members to a climate change advisory committee.

Oppose
Liability Limitations Relating to Public Use of Private Lands.

This act would change the definition of "owner" to exclude the state and municipalities for the purposes of liability limitations relating to public use of private lands.

Oppose
Mgt And Disposal Of Regulated Medical Waste.

This act would require hospitals and pharmacies to provide sharps containers for public use.

Support
Energy Reform Act.

Facilitates, promotes, and supports the creation of newly developed renewable energy resources. In addition, the act extends the distributed generation contracts program.

Oppose
Including Steep Slopes as Buildable.

This act would provide for the addition of certain definitions relative to "slope of land," and other terms within the chapters of the general laws relating to zoning and subdivision of land. Notably, slope of land shall not be excluded from the calculation of the buildable lot area or the minimum lot size, or in the calculation of the number of buildable lots or units.

Oppose
Producer Responsibility For Recycling, Reuse and Disposal of Mattresses.

This act would establish the procedure for the recycling, reuse and disposal of mattresses.

Support
Inclusion of Incineration of Solid Waste in Statewide Resource Recovery System Development Plan.

Eliminates the prohibition on inclusion of incineration of solid waste in the statewide resource recovery system development plan.

Oppose
Renewable Energy Tax Credit.

This act would reinstate the residential renewable energy system tax credit.

Support
Plastic Bag Ban.

This act would establish a plan for the gradual ban on the use of disposable plastic checkout bags by retail establishments.

Support
Hydroelectric Projects Allowed in Standard Contract Enforcement Program.

This act would amend the definition of small distributed generation project, and would allow hydroelectric projects to participate in the standard contract enforcement program.

Support
Use Of Glass As A Material To Cover Solid Waste At A Landfill.

This act would allow any resource recovery system or facility made available by the corporation to use glass as a material to cover compacted solid waste at a sanitary landfill.

Oppose
Separation of Powers: Coastal Resources Mgt Council.

This act would change the method by which members of the Coastal Resource Management Council are appointed, in accordance with the Separation of Powers Constitutional Amendment.

Oppose
Use Of Contaminated Soils To Cover Material at RI Resource Recovery Corp..

This act would allow the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation to use non-hazardous contaminated soils, free of solid waste, and originating out-of-state as daily cover material at its facility.

Oppose
Implementation Of The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Act.

Provides for the payment of costs incurred by the DEM and office of energy resources up to three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) or five percent (5%) of the proceeds of any sale or auction of allowances.

Support
Creation of a Permanent Joint Legislative Committee over CRMC and DEM.

This act would establish a permanent joint legislative committee to provide oversight of the coastal resources management council and the department of environmental management.

Oppose
Dam Inspection Protocol.

This act would change inspection protocols within the state.

Support
RI Energy Independence and Climate Solutions Act.

5801 SUB A
This act would attempt to reduce greenhouse gases and thus retard global warming. This act would take effect upon passage.

Support
State Planning Council Amendment.

This act would add three (3) members to the State Planning Council, namely: The Commissioner of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources; The Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority; The Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing.

Support
Water Suppliers And Installation Of Radio Frequency Reading Systems.

5534 SUB A as amended
This act would repeal the provision of the general laws requiring water suppliers to formulate a program for the installation of radio frequency reading systems. This act would also provide that water suppliers bill quarterly or less frequently by December 31, 2013.

Oppose
Inclusion of Incineration of Solid Waste in Statewide Resource Recovery System Development Plan.

Eliminates the prohibition on inclusion of incineration of solid waste in the statewide resource recovery system development plan.

Oppose
Changing the Composition of the CRMC.

This act would reduce the membership of the Coastal Resources Management Council from sixteen (16) to eleven (11) members and would reduce the quorum requirement from seven (7) to six (6) members.

Oppose
Distributed Generation - Hydro Quebec.

Expands distributed generation program: expands long term contracting renewable energy programs to include large hydro facilities.

Oppose
Public Transit Investment.

Includes public transit in maintenance fund and accelerates surcharges.

Support
Children's Jewelry Safety.

This act would require children's jewelry, manufactured or sold within one hundred eighty (180) days after the effective date of the act, to conform to standards promulgated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Support
Municipal Streetlight Investment Act.

Establishes a procedure to allow municipalities to purchase, rather than rent, their street lights for the purpose of reducing municipal street lighting costs.

Support
Industrial Property Remediation & Reuse Act.

Eliminates the statute prohibiting schools from being built on sites containing hazardous material, but provides certain safeguards for schools being built on properties previously used for industrial or manufacturing purposes.

Oppose
The Return Or Exchange Of Drugs Act .

The general assembly finds that many nursing facilities and assisted living residences destroy quantities of unused but viable prescription medication when residents pass away or when medications otherwise are no longer needed by the resident. In an effort to improve the quality, efficiency and utilization of the state's healthcare system, the general assembly hereby establishes a statewide program allowing pharmacies to accept for return and redispensing certain prescription drugs.

Support
Marine Debris Act.

S0406 Sub A
To reduce the amount of post-consumer packaging that ends up as marine and beach debris.

Support
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