Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

2003-2004 Green Report Card

2003-2004 RI General Assembly Green Report Card Summary

General Assembly Earns “B” for Environmental Legislation in 2003 and 2004.

In a major improvement over recent sessions, the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) gives the Rhode Island General Assembly a ‘B’ grade for it's handling of environmental issues. The Assembly passed six top priorities of the ECRI in this past session.

Key Environmental Legislation for 2003- 2004

The Clean Energy Act ~ Requires increasing amounts of the state's electricity to come from clean, renewable sources like solar and wind power. (Bates, Moura)

The Smoke-Free Workplaces Act ~ Protects the health of employees and customers by mandating almost all workplaces go smoke-free. (Sosnoswski, Fox)

Separation of Powers ~ Bills allowing a ballot initiative to remove legislators and their appointees from environmental boards and commissions. (Lenihan, Gorham)

Budget Article 44A ~ Approves ongoing annual funding of a coastal and estuary habitat restoration trust fund. (Paiva Weed, Malik)

Strengthening the Freshwater Wetlands Act ~ This bill significantly increasing fines for willful violations. (Sosnowski, Ginaitt)

Legislation to help finance burying of high voltage power lines at India Point ~ This act would require that any proposed transmission line for an energy facility which crosses over a significant natural resource or public asset of the state, be buried through the affected resource or asset. (DaPonte, Damiani and Perry)