Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

Watch List - 2018

ECRI may or may not have an official stance on these bills. People interested in tracking legislation during the session are encouraged to sign up for an account in the General Assembly's Bill Tracker system.
Click on blue-titled columns to sort by that field.

Bill Title House Bill # & Sponsor Senate Bill & Sponsor House Committee Senate Committee House Bill Status Senate Bill Status ECRI Position
Net Metering

This act would expand the definition of eligible net metering resources by including "eligible biomass fuels" as defined in § 39-26-2(6).

2652
V. Susan Sosnowski
2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee
RIRRC Glass as a landfill cover

Allows glass as material to cover compacted solid waste at a sanitary landfill

2653
Frank Lombardo, III
2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Senate Vote
The Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling and Exploration Activities Control Act

This act would regulate activities related to any offshore oil and gas drilling, including exploration in federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean in an effort to minimize any adverse effects resulting therefrom within the territorial waters and coastline of the state.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7250
Lauren H. Carson
2116
Dawn Euer
2017-2018 House Committee on Judiciary 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
School Waste Recycling and Refuse Disposal

This act would require schools to comply with composting and recycling laws, would promote the donation of unspoiled nonperishable food by schools and would promote the selection of local food service companies for school food service contracts.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7699
Lauren H. Carson
2017-2018 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare Passed House - Sent to Senate Legislative Agenda
**
RI Municipal Infrastructure Grant Program

This act would create a municipal infrastructure grant program within the department of administration (DOA) to issue grants and provide assistance for municipal and other public infrastructure projects that support job creation and expansion, housing development and rehabilitation, community development, and for the accommodation of future growth and redevelopment.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7102
John G. Edwards
2239
Ryan W. Pearson
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Signed Signed Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Biomass fuels eligible for net metering

The bill would expand the definition of eligible net metering resources by including "eligible biomass fuels".

8020
Kenneth A. Marshall
2652
V. Susan Sosnowski
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Voted out of Committee Passed Senate - Sent to House Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Right of Footway

Clarifies that § 34-7-4 ("right of footway denied") applies only to private rights of footway.

7978
Arthur Handy
2758
William J. Conley
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Passed House - Sent to Senate Deferred Legislative Agenda
**
NBC Water Bill

This bill authorizes the Narragansett Bay Commission to enter into agreements with various entities for the acquisition, merger or consolidation of water treatment facilities.

2803
Frank Lombardo, III
2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Increase Penalty for Protected Lands

This act would prohibit encroachment upon open space land and would allow the owner of open space land or the holder of a conservation easement to bring a civil action in superior court to remedy the encroachment of that land, and to recover damages resulting from this encroachment.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7383
Cale P. Keable
2682
V. Susan Sosnowski
2017-2018 House Committee on Judiciary 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Signed Signed Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Providence Water

Allows municipal water supply system and any regional water quality management district commission to enter into an agreement called a "transaction" effectively merging the entities and becoming a public utility.

8123
Scott Slater
2838
Maryellen Goodwin
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Deferred Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Disbands Smithfield Land Trust

This act would disband the Smithfield Land Trust and would transfer all function and real estate held by the Smithfield Land Trust to the town of Smithfield and Smithfield town council.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7425
Thomas Winfield
2017-2018 House Committee on Municipal Government Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Forest Siting Bill

This bill establishes the Rhode Island Forest Conservation Act which prohibits any state economic and other incentives to develop or convert forest land for renewable energy uses.

8141
Jeremiah T. O'Grady
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Resolution Opposing President Trump's Offshore Drilling Proposal

The Resolution expresses opposition to President Trump's decision to allow offshore drilling in most of America's coastal waters.

7179
J. Aaron Regunberg
2360
Joshua Miller
2017-2018 House Committee on Judiciary 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Passed Senate - Sent to House Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Pollinator Working Group

This bill is a Resolution requesting that D.E.M. continue to collaborate with the Pollinator Working Group.

8138
Arthur Handy
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Voted out of Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Energy Efficiency Cap Legislation

This act would cap the system benefit charge, relative to system reliability and energy efficiency, at the annual published Consumer Price Index or two and one-half percent (2.5%), whichever is greater.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7808
Kenneth A. Marshall
2499
Marc A. Cote
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations 2017-2018 Senate Commerce Committee Deferred Deferred Legislative Priority
*Oppose*
Prohibition of PFAS in Food Packaging Act

This act would prohibit PFAS, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals, from being used in food packaging.

This act would take effect on January 1, 2019.

7732
Alex D. Marszalkowski
2654
Jeanine Calkin
2017-2018 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Green Economy and Clean Water Bond

Passage of Article 5 of the proposed FY2018-19 budget will place several bond questions before the voters in the 2018 Fall Election relating to Capital Development.
One such program is the Green Economy and Clean Water Bond, which will be on the ballot as Question 3.

Approval of this proposed question on the upcoming Fall 2018 ballot will allow the State of Rhode Island to issue general obligation bonds, refunding bonds, and/or temporary notes in an amount not to exceed $48,500,000 for environmental and recreational purposes, to be allocated as follows:

  • Coastal Resiliency and Public Access Projects $5,000,000
  • Capital for Clean Water and Drinking Water $6,100,000
  • Wastewater Treatment Facility Resilience Improvements $5,000,000
  • Dam Safety $4,400,000
  • State Recreation Projects Program $10,000,000
  • State Bikeway Development Program $5,000,000
  • Brownfield Remediation and Economic Development $4,000,000
  • Local Recreation Projects $5,000,000
  • Access to Farmland $2,000,000
  • Local Open Space $2,000,000

 

7200
Marvin L. Abney
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Finance Signed In Committee Legislative Priority
*Support*
Eliminate Liability Protection for Outdoor Recreation

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.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7524
J. Aaron Regunberg
2017-2018 House Committee on Judiciary Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Solar Industry Economic Investment Act

This act would establish a revolving fund to provide low interest loans and grants to support the installation of solar energy panels. The act would also establish a tax credit for companies involved in solar energy production.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7219
Joseph M. McNamara
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Oppose*
Renewable Energy Siting Bill

This act would require, by July 1, 2019, the establishment of renewable energy siting ordinances in all cities and towns which would meet the standards set by a working group within the office of energy resources.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7793
Arthur Handy
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Passed House - Sent to Senate Legislative Agenda
**
Energy Efficiency Study Bill

This act would require the office of energy resources to conduct a study to verify the energy savings measures from the state energy efficiency programs.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7807
Kenneth A. Marshall
2500
Marc A. Cote
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Commerce Committee Signed Signed Legislative Agenda
**
Energize Rhode Island: Clean Energy Investment and Carbon Pricing Act

Establishes a fee on companies that sell fossil fuels in Rhode Island and also establishes a receipt account to disburse the funds from.

7400
J. Aaron Regunberg
2188
Jeanine Calkin
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Deferred Legislative Priority
*Support*
Global Warming Solutions Act

This act would establish the Rhode Island global warming solutions act to reduce carbon emissions across various sectors of the local economy.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7827
Arthur Handy
2747
Dawn Euer
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Deferred Legislative Priority
*Support*
Plastic Waste Reduction Act

This act would prohibit large retail sales establishments from providing plastic checkout bags and all retail establishments from providing expanded polystyrene disposable food containers enforced by municipal police departments or other municipal designees with an opt-out provision.

7851
Carol Hagan McEntee
2354
Joshua Miller
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Deferred Legislative Priority
*Support*
The Energy & Consumer Savings Act of 2005

This act would establish minimum energy and water efficiency standards for certain products sold or installed in the state.

This act would take effect upon passage.

7828
Arthur Handy
2362
Jeanine Calkin
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*