Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

2019 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
Climate Economic & Climate Resilience Act Of 2019.

This act would establish a fee on companies that sell fossil fuels in Rhode Island and establish an economic and climate resilience fund to disburse the collected revenues. It requires that both Massachusetts and one additional Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative state pass a carbon fee of at least five dollars ($5) per metric ton of carbon to take effect.

5869 0662 H5869, S0662 Support Legislative Priority
Climate RI Global Warming Solutions Act.

This bill would require our State to take action on climate change. It would require reducing carbon emissions economy-wide by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, with interim targets for 2020 and 2035.

5444 0658 H5444, S0658 Support Legislative Priority
Conservation Energy & Consumer Savings Act: Efficiency Standards.

This bill would establish new energy and water efficiency standards for appliances and other products sold in Rhode Island.

5667 0552 H5667, S0552 Support Legislative Priority
Government Energy Facility Siting Amendments (TEC-RI/OER).

(ECRI OPPOSES) Amends provisions relative to the energy facility siting act including designating the public utilities commission as the public advocate and creates certain pre-application requirements.

5804 H5804 Oppose Legislative Priority
Planning and Development RI Energy Resources Act: Solar Siting.

(ECRI PRIORITY) This bill includes a suite of strategies to incentivize proper siting and minimize the size of commercial solar in environmentally sensitive areas. It also requires the establishment of comprehensive solar energy siting ordinances in each Rhode Island town and city and requires the state to develop a renewable energy siting plan.

5789 0661 H5789, S0661, S0661subA Support Legislative Priority
Pollution Plastic Bag Bill.

Creates the "Plastic Waste Reduction Act" designed to reduce the use of plastic bags by retail establishments by offering recyclable bag options and providing penalties for violations.

5671 0410 S0410, S0410subA amended, H5671, H5671subA Support Legislative Priority
Waste Plastics Pyrolosis Solid Waste Amendments.

(ECRI OPPOSES) This bill would exempt plastics from being considered solid waste, creating a loophole in existing state law to circumvent the prohibition of incineration of solid waste.

5448 0408 H5448, H5448subA, S0408 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 Adaptation Fund.

Establishes OSCAR, The Ocean State Climate Adaptation and Resilience fund, a fund which provides grants to support projects that adapt infrastructure to address climate change; assess eligibility of projects, allocation, disbursements and the fund's financing.

5628 0412 H5628, S0412 Support Legislative Agenda
Government Green New Deal Resolution.

This bill requests that the Rhode Island Green New Deal Research Council report their findings and recommendations regarding the potential benefits of green new deal initiatives to the General Assembly by May 15, 2019.

5665 0659 H5665, S0659 Support Legislative Agenda
Government Energy Facilities Siting Amendments (Burrillville).

Makes changes to the membership of the energy facilities siting board by increasing the size of the board from three (3) to seven (7) members for certain applications, and also imposes additional requirements on applicants for energy facilities.

5446 H5446 Support Legislative Agenda
Health Eliminate PFAS from Food Packaging.

This bill prohibits PFAS, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals, from being used in food packaging.

5565 0218 H5565, S0218 Support Legislative Agenda
Health Personal Care Products Disclosure.

Requires the personal care product industry to more fully disclose the ingredients they use and, where applicable, identify ingredients that have been published as a chemical of concern on one or more designated lists included in the act.

5826 0447 H5826, S0447 Support Legislative Agenda
Land Conservation Easement Restrictions.

Requires conservation and preservation restrictions to be liberally interpreted in favor of the grants awarded.

0170 S0170 Support Legislative Agenda
Planning and Development Woodland Preservation & Stewardship Act.

Establishes and implements woodland stewardship and preservation programs managed by the Department of Environmental Management administered by cities and towns through local comprehensive planning and zoning.

5813 0663 H5813, S0663 Support Legislative Agenda
Pollution Polystyrene Ban / Plastic Bag Bill.

Prohibits retail sales establishments from providing plastic checkout bags and all retail establishments from providing expanded polystyrene disposable food containers and would be enforced by municipal designees, with an opt out provision.

0268 S0268 Support Legislative Agenda
Transportation Vulnerable Road User Protections.

Provides for specific fines and sanctions to operators of motor vehicles who fail to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a vulnerable road user causing injury, serious injury, or death to the vulnerable road user.

0596 S0596 Support Legislative Agenda
Waste "Ask First" Plastic Straw Bill.

This act would prohibit a food service establishment from providing a consumer with a single-use plastic straw, unless the consumer requests such a straw.

5314 0202 H5314, S0202, S0202subA Support Legislative Agenda