Environment Council of Rhode Island

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

Watch List - 2017

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.
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Bill Title House Bill # & Sponsor Senate Bill & Sponsor House Committee Senate Committee House Bill Status Senate Bill Status ECRI Position
Energy Facility Siting Act

Prevents the energy facility siting board from proceeding to final hearing or issuing a final decision if one or more of the designated agencies inform the siting board that they are unable to form an advisory opinion due the conduct of the applicant

Daniel P. McKiernan
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations In Committee

Abolishes fees imposed upon Rhode Island residents and businesses operating within the state for the collection, transportation, storage or recycling of any mattress after January 1, 2018.

Deborah A. Fellela
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
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.

Jean-Philippe Barros
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance
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.

Carlos E. Tobon
2017-2018 House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare In Committee Legislative Agenda
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.

Deborah Ruggiero
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations
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.

Arthur J. Corvese
2017-2018 House Committee on Corporations Deferred Legislative Agenda
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.

Cale P. Keable
2017-2018 House Committee on Judiciary Passed House - Sent to Senate
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.

Cale P. Keable
Paul W. Fogarty
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary In Committee In Committee Legislative Priority
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.

Deborah Ruggiero
Erin P. Lynch Prata
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee Deferred Legislative Agenda
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.

Michael J. McCaffrey
2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary Deferred Legislative Agenda
Green Building Amendments

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

Christopher R. Blazejewski
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance In Committee Legislative Priority
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.

William J. Conley
2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee
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.

Adam J. Satchell
2017-2018 Senate Committee on Judiciary In Committee Legislative Agenda
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.

Deborah Ruggiero
William J. Conley
2017-2018 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture Deferred Deferred Legislative Priority
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.

J. Aaron Regunberg
Jeanine Calkin
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance 2017-2018 Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture In Committee In Committee Legislative Priority
Green Buildings Act

Amends the existing Green Buildings Act to include green standard (LEED for Neighborhood Development and SITES) for the property surrounding the building. The Green Buildings Act applies to public buildings with construction larger than 5,000 square feet, or renovation larger than 10,000 square feet.

Christopher R. Blazejewski
2017-2018 House Committee on Finance In Committee