Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

Watch List - 2016

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
Phasing out Flame Retardants

legislation would phase out the use of oranohalogen flame retardant chemicals, which are linked to cancer, learning disabilities, and reproductive dysfunction, from upholstered furniture and chikdren's products.

7977
2015-2016 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Fragrance disclosure in cosmetics

The legislation would require cosmetics manufacturers to disclose all ingredients in their products, including the chemicals used in fragrance.

7915
Carlos E. Tobon
2698
Donna M. Nesselbush
2015-2016 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Health and Human Services In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Clean Energy Investment and Carbon Pricing Act

Makes the investments we need to secure energy independence and move toward the economy of the future.

7325
J. Aaron Regunberg
2015-2016 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Deferred Legislative Priority
*Support*
Energy Facility Siting Board

This act would increase the membership of the energy facility siting board from three (3) to seven (7) members, and would require approval by the electors in Burrillville of any tax agreement established by the town council with a power plant located in the town. 

8240
Cale P. Keable
3037
Paul W. Fogarty
2015-2016 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Judiciary Deferred Deferred Legislative Priority
*Support*
Renewable Energy Standard (2016)

This act would extend the 2004 Renewable Energy Standard Schedule Program, which required the suppliers of retail electricity to obtain minimum increasing amounts of renewable energy resources, beyond 2019 to 2035.

7413
Deborah Ruggiero
2185
V. Susan Sosnowski
2015-2016 House Committee on Corporations 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Signed Signed Legislative Priority
*Support*
Green Buildings Act Amendments

Expands the "Green Buildings Act" to include public projects and updates the standards to include LEED for Neighborhood Development, and SITES.

7819
Lauren H. Carson
2015-2016 House Committee on Finance Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Banning of Neonicotinoids Act

This bill would prohibit or otherwise severely restrict the application of pesticide products containing neonicotinoids, including but not limited to the application of pesticide products containing any of the following: acetamiprid; clothianidin;dinotefuran; imidacloprid (the most widely used insecticide in the world); nitenpyram; nithizine; and thiamethoxam. The purpose is to halt the severe decline of pollinators, primarily honey bees. One-third of food produced in North America depends on pollination by honey bees, including nearly 95 varieties of fruits such as almonds, avocados, cranberries, and apples.

2798
Joshua Miller
2015-2016 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Elimination of Tax on Hard to Dispose of Material

Repeals the imposition of the tax on hard-to-dispose material.

7724
Robert B. Lancia
2015-2016 House Committee on Finance Deferred
Mercury Reduction and Education Act

The bill would require manufacturers to fund a statewide recycling program for light bulbs containing mercury. It also calls for DEM to set and enforce higher collection goals for the existing EPR program for mercury thermostats.

8266
Arthur Handy
2095
Dominick J. Ruggerio
2015-2016 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Signed Signed Legislative Agenda
*Support*
House Resolution for Protecting Pollinators

Resolution 301. Requests that the Dept. of Environmental Management convene a working group to make recommendations to maintain and protect pollinator health and habitat in Rhode Island.

8265
Cale P. Keable
2015-2016 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources House Vote Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Relating To Public Utilities & Carriers - Public Utilities Commission

Requires the division of public utilities and carriers and the public utilities commission to include climate, environmental, employment, health and consumer concerns in all their proceedings and decisions.

7514
J. Aaron Regunberg
2015-2016 House Committee on Corporations Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Dept. of Transportation Reporting on Stormwater Drainage Maintenance

This act would require the RI Dept of Transportation to annually report to the General Assembly their compliance with the consent decree issued by the United States District Court relative to maintenance of certain drainage systems.

7072
Lauren H. Carson
2015-2016 House Committee on Finance In Committee
Virtual Net Metering

This act would expand the state's net metering policy to include renewable energy projects in which energy is distributed off-site from a customer's account and would establish an energy system credit benefit or charge.

7585
J. Aaron Regunberg
2592
Louis P. DiPalma
2015-2016 House Committee on Corporations 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Deferred
Court Review Standards for Proposed Amendments to Conservation Easements

This legislation addresses the unintended consequences of legislation adopted in 2011. The legislation distinguishes court review standards for proposals to terminate or amend conservation easements. It clarifies the standard for proposed amendments to enable the Court, upon review, to approve a proposed amendment that results in a net gain to conservation values protected by a conservation easement.

7196
Christopher R. Blazejewski
2233
Louis P. DiPalma
2015-2016 House Committee on Judiciary 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Judiciary Deferred Passed Senate - Sent to House Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Increases Penalties for Intentionally Damaging Protected Land

Proposes to increase penalities for people who cut trees, steal stone walls, or otherwise intentionally damage protected open space lands. Current penalties are little more than a hand slap and are not a strong deterrent to keep people from damaging open space lands. This legislation is based on effective legislation in CT.

7606
Cale P. Keable
2718
V. Susan Sosnowski
2015-2016 House Committee on Judiciary 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Judiciary Passed House - Sent to Senate Deferred Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Expanding The Renewable Energy Growth Program

Expands the renewable energy growth program for an additional 10 years after the 5th program year, with an annual target of 40 nameplate mgw for each of the 10 year period.

7473
Deborah Ruggiero
2181
William A. Walaska
2015-2016 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred In Committee Legislative Priority
*Support*
Green Economy Bond

This bond, if approved will appear on the November ballot, will ask Rhode Islanders to invest $35 million in the state's growing "green economy". Historic State Park Development Program ($7 M); State Land Acquisition Program ($4 M); State Bikeway Development Program ($10 M); Brownfield Remediation & Economic Development ($5 M); Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program($3 M); Local Recreation Development Matching Grant Program ($2 M).

Get more details here.

7454
Marvin L. Abney
2015-2016 House Committee on Finance Signed Legislative Priority
*Support*
Renewable Energy Fund Extension

Article 18 of the Governor's Budget proposes to extend the The Renewable Energy Fund (REF) from the end of 2016 until 2022. The REF provides financial and administrative support for a variety of renewable energy projects. It helps potential project owners conduct feasibility studies and helps grow local green sources of energy.

7454
Marvin L. Abney
2450
William J. Conley
2015-2016 House Committee on Finance 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Finance House Vote Signed Legislative Agenda
*Support*
RIPTA authority appointment

Members to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate; with at least one of the seven (7) being a regular user of fixed route RIPTA transportation and at least one of the seven (7) being a person with a disability.

7329
Eileen S. Naughton
2373
Juan M. Pichardo
2015-2016 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Housing and Municipal Government Signed Signed Legislative Agenda
*Support*
Dry Lands Bill

Provides that wetland buffers not be excluded from the calculation of buildable lot areas, minimum lot sizes or in the calculation of buildable lots or units.

7651
K. Joseph Shekarchi
2591
Michael J. McCaffrey
2015-2016 House Committee on Municipal Government 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Signed Signed Legislative Priority
*Oppose*
Producer Responsibility for Packaging

Establishes a Producer Responsibility for Packaging sold into Rhode Island.

7896
Christopher R. Blazejewski
S2605
William A. Walaska
2015-2016 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2015-2016 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee