Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

2021 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 Pro-Con-Neutral-Watchsort descending
Waste "Advanced Recycling".

License required for advanced recycling facilities. No licensing within two (2) miles residential zone, school, place of worship or waterway or wetlands, except this prohibition shall not apply to grandfathered operation.

H55446: Exempts post-use polymers and recovered feedstocks used in advanced recycling processes from the definition of solid waste

5446 0254 S0254, H5446 Oppose
Climate and Energy Act On Climate.

Establishes a statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction mandate.

5445 0078 S0078, H5445, H5445subA Support
Water and Toxics PFAS In Drinking Water, Groundwater And Surface Waters.

Requires DOH to establish maximum contaminate levels of PFAS in drinking water and to set interim standards. Also requires DEM to set standards for PFAS in ground- and surface waters. Defines PFSA as hazardous substances.

5523 0107 S0107, S0107subA, H5523 Support
Climate and Energy Renewable Energy Standard.

(Increases the percentage of retail electricity sales from renewable energy sources. Sets forth new renewable energy standards.

5762 0629 H5762, S0629, S0629subA Support
Climate and Energy Energy Efficiency - Least Cost Procurement.

Requires the energy efficiency and resources management council to run a triennial competitive bid process to select an entity to propose and administer system reliability and energy efficiency and conservation procurement until March 1, 2036. (Senate)

Requires submission of a triennial system reliability/energy efficiency/conservation procurement plan until 9/1/2036 and continues a charge on gas/electricity to fund energy efficiency/conversation programs until 9/1/2035. (House)

6144 0634 S0634, S0634A, S0634B, H6144, H6144A Support
Water and Toxics PFAS in Food Packaging.

Prohibits PFAS, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals, from being used in food packaging.

5356 0110 S0110, H5356, H5356A Support
Legislative Agenda
Legislative Topic Title and Description House Bill# Senate Bill # Link(s) to Bill text pdfs ECRI's Position Pro-Con-Neutral-Watchsort descending
Land and Forest Forest Conservation Act.

Creates a forest conservation commission, to be coordinated with the department of environmental management, to seek new funding and identify incentives for landowners to maintain their land as forest.

5760 0470 H5760, S0470, S0470A Support
Waste Disposable Food Service Containers.

Prohibits a covered establishment from preparing, selling, processing or providing food or beverages in or on a disposable food service container that is composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam

5138 0036 S0036, H5138 Support
Waste Helium Balloons.

Prohibits the release of balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gas

5376 0038 S0038, S0038subAaa, H5376, H5376subAaa Support
Environmental Justice Environmental Justice Act.

Requires the department of environmental management to create environmental justice areas.

0105 S0105, S0105subA Support
Waste Single-Use Plastic Straws.

Prohibits a food service establishment from providing a consumer with a single-use plastic straw, unless the consumer requests such a straw

5131 0155 S0155, S0155subA, H5131, H5131subA Support
Waste Beverage Container Deposit Recycling Act Of 2021.

Creates a refundable four cent ($0.04) deposit for non-reusable beverage containers. A ten cent ($0.10) handling fee would be paid by distributors.

5280 0106 S0106, S0220, H5280 Support
Waste Beverage Container Deposit Recycling Act Of 2021.

Creates a refundable four cent ($0.04) deposit for non-reusable beverage containers. A ten cent ($0.10) handling fee would be paid by distributors.

5280 0220 S0106, S0220, H5280 Support
Climate and Energy Appliance Efficiency Standards Act of 2021.

Establishes minimum energy and water efficiency standards for appliances and specified equipment purchased or installed after January 1, 2023

5966 0339 S0339, S0339subA, H5966, H5966subA Support
Transportation Transportation Emission and Mobile (TEAM) Community Act.

Establishes the Transportation Emission and Mobile (Team) Community Act intended to limit and reduce indirect carbon dioxide emissions throughout the state while promoting the purposes of the transportation climate initiative program.

6310 0872 S0872, S0872A, H6310 Support
Climate and Energy Prohibit Solar Project Co-location.

Prohibits the co-location of multiple renewable energy resources one or more contiguous parcels, unless the total capacity of the co-location is less than ten megawatts (10MW) in total.

6169 0474 S0474, H6169 Support
Environmental Justice Home Energy Affordability (PIPP).
Creates the Percentage of Income Home Energy Affordability Program, an income-sensitive tiered subsidy program to ensure that home energy utility costs are affordable for eligible low-income households.


5809 0584 S0584, H5809 Support
Water and Toxics Neonicotinoid Pesticide Regulation.

Prohibits the use of neonicotinoids which are a class of insecticides.

5641 0702 S0702, H5641, H5641subA Support
Land and Forest Public Trust Designation for Municipal Lands.

Creates a voluntary mechanism for municipalities to use to dedicate a park, conservation or other land they own as public trust land in perpetuity to protect and preserve its future use.

5259 0172 S0172, S0172subA, H5259, 5259subA Support
Land and Forest Enables Conservation Easements.

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

5472 0094 S0094, H5472 Support
Waste Miniature Alcoholic Beverage Container Act.

Creates a refundable fifty cent ($0.50) deposit for miniature alcoholic beverage containers, often referred to as "nips."

5113 0562 S0562, H5113 Support
Waste High Heat Waste Facility Prohibition.

Prohibits new high-heat waste processing facilities.

5923 0527 S0527, H5923, H5923subAaa Support
Climate and Energy Climate Literacy Act.

Implements literacy of climate change for all students enrolled in public schools or other schools managed and controlled by the state in kindergarten through twelve (K-12).

5625 0464 S0464, H5625 Support
Environmental Justice Green Justice Zone Act.

Establishes the first Green Justice Zone, a model that may be replicated in future years to ensure that all communities throughout the state have clean air and clean water.

5674 0540 S0540, H5674 Support
Transportation Vulnerable Road User Protection.

Povides 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.

5093 0318 S0318, S0318subA, H5093, H5093subA Support
Buildings Green Buildings Act Amendments.

Repeals the expiration provisions that major facility projects or other public improvements comply with green building standards, thereby requiring major facility projects of state agencies to be constructed to LEED standards.

5919 0760 S0760, H5919 Support
Resilience and Adaptatiion Ocean State Climate Adaptation Fund.

Establishes the Ocean State Climate Adaptation and Resilience Fund. Enables municipalities and the state to apply for grants to improve public safety and community climate resilience for coastal habitats, as well as river and stream floodplains.

5967 0035 S0035, S0035subAaa, H5967, H5967subA Support
Waste Plastic Waste Reduction Act.

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.

5358 0037 S0037, H5358 Support