Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

2017 Legislative Agenda

ECRI has considered these bills and has decided to support or oppose them at hearings. People interested in tracking legislation during the session are encouraged to sign up for an account in the General Assembly's Bill Tracker system.

FYI, all blue-headed columns are sortable, e.g., by bill number, topic, support/oppose, etc.

Legislative Priority
Legislative Topic Title and Description House Bill# Senate Bill # Link(s) to Bill text pdfs ECRI's Position
Energy Stop Invenergy Plant.

It makes clear what the General Assembly meant all along – that when a company wants to build a new, dirty, polluting power plant but illegally refuses to provide information to agencies charged with providing Advisory Opinions, the EFSB must deny the application.

5897 0756 H5897, S0756 Support Legislative Priority
Energy Green Building Act.

This act would expand the "Green Buildings Act" to include public projects and updates the standards to include LEED for Neighborhood Development, and SITES.

5427 0952 H5427, S0952, H5427subA Support Legislative Priority
Energy Renewable Energy Growth Program Extension.

The Distributed Generation Contract program was a successful pilot that was extended into the Renewable Energy Growth program in 2014 (RIGL 39-26.6). This bill extends the REG for an additional 10 years after the 5th program year, with an annual target of 40 nameplate MW for each of the 10-year periods. This will help diversify Rhode Island’s energy mix and improve system reliability.

5274 0112 H5274, H5274subA, S0112, S0112subA Support Legislative Priority
Energy Energize Rhode Island: Clean Energy Investment and Carbon Pricing Act of 2017.

This act would establish a fee on companies that sell fossil fuels in Rhode Island, paid at the point of sale within the state for consumption or distribution within the state. It would also establish a "Clean Energy and Jobs Fund" to disburse the collected funds. The funds would be disbursed through rebates to all residents and businesses in the state as well as allocated to climate resilience, energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy programs that benefit Rhode Islanders, particularly low income residential properties and small business properties.

5369 0365 S0365, H5369 Support Legislative Priority
Water Water Authority Bill.

This act would establish the Rhode Island cooperative water authority. The authority would have the power to acquire, lease, manage, sell, and otherwise deal with land and water supply systems. The authority would be authorized to issue bonds and notes in furtherance of its mission.

6122 0810 H6122, S0810 Oppose Legislative Priority
Legislative Agenda
Legislative Topic Title and Description House Bill# Senate Bill # Link(s) to Bill text pdfs ECRI's Position
Climate Climate Change Coastal Adaptation Trust Fund.

Establishes the RI coastal adaptation trust fund which would enable cities and towns and the state to apply for grants to fund projects that invest in measures that adapt infrastructure on public lands to address the impacts of climate change.

5808 0442 H5808, S0442, S0442subA Support Legislative Agenda
Climate Carbon Pricing Study - EC4 and Resilient RI Act.

This act would direct the climate change coordinating council to study a carbon pricing program, to incentivize institutions and industry to reduce carbon emissions and would make several other additions to the council's responsibilities.

6305 0108 S0108, S0108aa, H6305 Support Legislative Agenda
Energy Limit Energy Efficiency Savings.

Bill would cap energy efficiency program charge for the next 5 years and add another unnecessary layer of verification that would divert funds from the efficiency programs. ECRI opposes this bill.

5640 0632 H5640, S0632, H5640subA Oppose Legislative Agenda
Energy Gas Pipeline Bill.

This act would preclude electric distribution companies from including their gas transmission contracts or cost of facilities in the rate base for electricity customers.

6184 H6184 Support Legislative Agenda
Energy Decoupling Bill.

This act would permit, rather than require, electricity and gas revenues to be decoupled from sales and require submission of a full rate filing every three (3) years by electric and gas distribution companies.

This act would also require electric-distribution companies to provide an annual report on revenues to the governor, general assembly, division of public utilities, and the PUC.

6188 H6188 Oppose Legislative Agenda
Energy Enable Municipal Aggregation.

Municipal aggregation, also known as community choice aggregation, allows a city or town to choose the electricity supplier for residents and businesses within that municipality. It is a model allowing for important energy decisions to be made at the local level rather than by an investor-owned utility or by a for-profit competitive electricity supplier. Current Rhode Island law has too many procedural barriers that prevent town planners from pursuing aggregation.

5536 0877 H5536, H5536subA, S0877 Support Legislative Agenda
Health Flame Retardants in Furniture and Children's Products.

Prohibits the use of an entire family of chemicals called phthalates, which are know endocrine disruptors and can cause other health issues, from being used in flame retardants that are applied to furniture and children's products.

5082 0166 S0166, H5082, S0166subA, H5082subA, H5082subAaa Support Legislative Agenda
Health Fragrance Disclosure Act.

Requires manufacturers to fully disclose to the DOH all ingredients contained in their cosmetic products manufactured, distributed or sold in the state, and further subjects a manufacturer to financial penalties for a violation of this requirement.

5905 H5905 Support Legislative Agenda
Land Protected Lands.

This legislation increases penalties for people who cut trees, steal stone walls or otherwise intentionally vandalize or damaging protected lands. Current penalties are so low that they are not a deterrent. The legislation, patterned after an effective law in Connecticut, increases the fines for people convicted and enables land trusts and municipalities to recoup costs for restoring protected lands that are willfully damaged.

5116 H5116 Support Legislative Agenda
Outdoor Recreation Eliminate Liability Protection for Outdoor Recreation.

Excludes the state and municipalities from the definition of "owner" for the purposes of liability limitations relating to public use of private lands.

0386 S0386 Oppose Legislative Agenda
Outdoor Recreation Removes Beach User Fees.

This bill would eliminate all user fees for access to any state beach thereby reducing the revenue used to manage state beaches.

5076 0475 H5076, S0475 Oppose Legislative Agenda
Waste Product Stewardship Bottle Recycling Act.

Creates a beverage container program using redemption centers which would include the use of automated devices to accept certain glass, aluminum, and plastic containers for recycling.

5801 H5801 Support Legislative Agenda