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Home > Publications > Enacted 2002 Legislation

2001 Enacted Legislation

2000 Enacted Legislation

General Assembly's Website for the Text of House and Senate Bills Exit DEM site icon
State of Rhode Island
2002 Legislative Session
Enacted Environmental Bills and Resolutions

For additional information, contact either Bob Ballou at 401-222-4700 ext. 4420,
or Elizabeth Stone at 401-222-4700 ext. 2422.

H-7269 Sub A
Authorization for Administrative Search Warrants Authorizes the use of judicial warrants for administrative searches, in accordance with constitutional requirements, for use by DEM when necessary to gain access to private property to conduct administrative inspections. Commits DEM to carrying out administrative inspections in accordance with specific guidelines. Clarifies the circumstances under which the Department may conduct administrative inspections without a search warrant. (Takes effect on January 1, 2003.)
S-2771 Sub A
Commercial Fishing License Reform Ends the moratorium on new commercial fishing licenses effective December 31, 2002; replaces the moratorium with a new, streamlined licensing system; provides for the issuance of new licenses; provides stronger protection for the interests of Rhode Island fishermen in quota fisheries; enables current license holders to maintain their licenses; provides for an adaptive system of management based on improved data collection, new management principles, input from industry, and advice from the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council; and exempts aquaculture crops from various restrictions governing wild shellfish stocks.
H-7312 Sub A aa
Bird Depredation Permits Establishes authority within DEM to coordinate the issuance of depredation permits for the killing/taking of nuisance birds (e.g. Canada geese, gulls).
On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) Emissions Testing Allows vehicle emissions to be tested by checking the on-board diagnostics (OBD) computer of vehicles so equipped. The RI I&M statute now requires vehicles be tested for emissions using a tailpipe emission test. A regulation recently promulgated by EPA requires states to use the OBD test on model year 1996 and newer vehicles - this change brings RI into compliance with EPA's new requirements.
S-2416 Sub A
Marine Safety Zones Authorizes DEM, in conjunction with the US Coast Guard, to establish and enforce temporary safety zones for marine events and emergencies. Safety zones would not exist for longer than seventy-two (72) consecutive hours - only in the event of an environmental/marine disaster or public safety emergency, would the Director be authorized to extend the marine safety zone beyond seventy-two (72) hours.
H-7950 Sub A aa
Cluster Developments - Zoning Amendment Gives municipalities a fourth option for the preservation of open space as part of a cluster development - private landowners are now allowed to retain ownership of a portion of their property in an undeveloped state, while the remainder of the property is developed. A conservation easement, held by the municipality, can be utilized to prevent the open space portion of the development from being built upon in the future.
H-7489 Sub A
Redevelopment of Brownfields Amends RI's Industrial Property Remediation and Reuse (Brownfields) Act. Includes liability relief provisions that mirror federal relief for additional innocent parties (municipalities and contiguous property owners). Includes provisions that aim to increase public involvement in the Brownfields redevelopment process. Calls upon DEM, EDC, and the RI Economic Policy Council to prepare numerous reports (by Dec. 2002) on: 1) comprehensive environmental insurance for Brownfields sites; and 2) evaluating the costs/benefits of establishing a licensed environmental professional program in RI.
S-2151 Sub A
H-6789 Sub A
Private Well Water Testing Establishes testing standards and disclosure requirements for dwellings serviced by private wells. Calls upon the Department of Health to establish and maintain a database showing known areas where there are contaminants of concern to public health and to make these results available to the public.
H-7327 Sub A aa
Authorization for Municipal Stormwater Management Districts Authorizes municipalities to adopt ordinances creating stormwater management districts, the boundaries of which may include all or part of a city or town, as specified by the local ordinance. Such ordinances shall be designed to eliminate and prevent the contamination of the state's waters.
S-3069 Sub A
Coastal Habitat Restoration/
Establishes a coastal and estuarine habitat restoration program administered by the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) and makes available $250,000 to fund the program. Also makes technical adjustments to the OSPAR statute.
S-2176 Sub B
Deer Damage Permits Makes a minor amendment relative to the authority of the Division of Agriculture regarding the issuance of deer damage permits.
S-2227 Sub A aa
H-7106 Sub A aa
Tax Exemptions for Farm, Forest and Open Space Land Allows cities and towns, by ordinance, to exempt farmland, forest land or open space land from local property taxes.
S-2362 aa
Inspection of Underground Storage Tanks Requires that all underground storage tanks (USTs) used for petroleum products, and subject to registration in RI, be inspected at least once every two (2) years.
Underground Storage Tank Review Board - Quasi Public Corporation Transforms the RI Underground Storage Tank Review Board into a quasi-government corporation. Clarifies the Board's authority to collect annual tank registration fees.
S-2399 Sub A
Control of Outdoor Light Pollution Establishes standards for outdoor lighting fixtures installed by or for RI state agencies. Applies to both replacement of existing lighting fixtures and installation of new lighting fixtures. The RI Department of Transportation is responsible for program implementation.
S-2666 Sub A
Conservation Officers/ Environmental Police Officers Clarifies that whenever in any general law or public law the words "conservation officer" appear, the same shall be deemed to mean "environmental police officer."
S-2465 Sub A aa
Pesticides Use in Schools - Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Makes minor, corrective and clarifying changes to legislation, enacted in 2001, addressing pesticide use in schools and day-cares. Calls upon DOH and DEM to jointly develop regulations aimed at restricting the use of traditional pesticides in schools. Calls for the creation of a task force (by July 1, 2002) to address methods to promote public education and professional training about pesticides, their potential health effects and IPM least toxic alternatives.
Commercial Fishing Vessels: Sales Tax Exemptions Provides a sales tax exemption for provisions, supplies and materials used in the repair and maintenance of commercial fishing vessels.
S-2813 Sub A aa

Comprehensive Lead Hazard Mitigation Bill Provides technical assistance and information to property owners/landlords about the hazards of lead paint and proper removal methods; transfers authority from Dept. of Health to the RI Housing Resources Commission (HRC) relative to response to tenant/occupant complaints; creates a six-member 'Interagency Coordinating Council' for the purpose of examining issues such as enforcement, educational outreach, and additional lead regulations (DEM Director an ex-officio member); eliminates the "innocent owner" provision as of July 1, 2004; and creates an Office of Lead Advocate with the Office of the Attorney General.
Drinking Water Supply System Management Plans Amends the procedures for public access to water supply system management plans that contain sensitive information. Allows for the creation and dissemination of an 'executive summary' of individual water system management plans.
S-2860 Sub B
Historic Structure Tax Credits Makes technical amendments to the Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit as originally adopted in 2001.
S-2444 Sub A
Farm Home Products Allows for the production of certain agricultural commodities (e.g. pies, jams) from farm home kitchens. Sets specific health standards and requires farm home kitchens to register with the Department of Health.
S-2553 Sub A aa
Amendments to RI's Farm Plate Law Updates RI's existing farm plate law pursuant to recommendations set forth by the legislative commission (2001) on the use of farm plates in Rhode Island.
<S-2546 aa
Wildlife Damage to Crops Authorizes DEM to establish a program of financial assistance, when either state or federal funds become available, for farmers for the purpose of establishing preventative practices to protect crops from wildlife (e.g. deer, geese) damage.
S-2703 Sub A
H-7996 Sub A
Lyme Disease Recognizes the seriousness of lyme disease in Rhode Island and protects physicians who prescribe long-term antibiotic therapy to patients suspected of having lyme disease.
S-2981 Sub A aa
H-8108 Sub A aa
Authorization for Municipal Control Over Jet Skis Authorizes the towns of South Kingstown, Narragansett, Middletown and North Kingstown to regulate by ordinance the operation of personal watercraft (jet-skis).
H-6877 Sub A
Menhaden Management Prohibits the taking of menhaden in all state waters for reduction purposes (fish meal). Grants the Director of DEM the authority to promulgate emergency rules in order to protect public health and safety.
H-7786 Sub B aa
Electric Utility Restructuring Extends funding (2.3 mills per kilowatt-hour delivered) for energy efficiency programs and renewable energy projects in Rhode Island through January 1, 2013. Transfers control of the renewable energy program (approximately $2,000,000 per year dedicated to fund renewable energy projects) from the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Collaborative to the RI State Energy Office.
S-2585 Sub A
H-7266 Sub A aa
H-7271 Sub B
Segway Human Transporters & Electric Motorized Bicycles Permits the operation of Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (Segway) and electric motorized bicycles - both "no emission" forms of transportation - in RI without D.M.V. registration.
S-2840 Sub A aa
H-7311 Sub A aa
Joint Resolution - Creating a Strategic Plan for Narragansett Bay Creates a nineteen (19) member joint legislative commission to: 1) research/identify existing state statutes pertaining to planning for the Bay; 2) research past/current planning programs pertaining to the Bay; 3) research, summarize and produce data on the economic value of Narragansett Bay; 4) summarize existing data on the health of the Bay; and 5) develop a report recommending specific measures the state should take to ensure the timely creation of a Strategic Plan for the Bay. The Director of DEM, or a designee, shall serve on the commission. (Findings and recommendations to be completed by April 15, 2003.)
S-2483 Sub A aa
Joint Resolution - Single Occupant Vehicles as a Means of Commuting to Work in RI Creates a special fifteen (15) member joint legislative commission to study policies/programs aimed at minimizing the use of single occupant vehicles as a means of commuting to work in Rhode Island. Two (2) departments or agencies, yet to be named, will serve on the joint commission. (Findings and recommendations to be completed by January 16, 2003.)
House Resolution on Brownfields Remediation and Reuse Calls upon the Rhode Island Brownfields Commission, created via legislation in 2001, to develop necessary legislative recommendations to be introduced in the January 2003 General Assembly session which would complement and strengthen the existing brownfields programs administered by DEM and EDC. The Director of DEM, or a designee, shall continue to serve on the commission.
House Resolution to Study Quarries Creates an eleven (11) member House commission to examine the operations of quarries, including public safety concerns about blasting at such facilities. The Director of DEM, or a designee, shall serve on the commission. (Findings and recommendations to be completed by March 13, 2003.)
H-8118 Sub A
House Resolution - Health Impacts of TF Green Airport on the City of Warwick Requests the Rhode Island Department of Health to assist the City of Warwick in: 1) interpreting health data; and 2) developing an RFP and a grant for funding an environmental impact study (EIS) on the effect of runway expansion at TF Green Airport on Warwick and surrounding communities (including Cranston and Providence).
House Resolution Extending Congratulations to the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program Commends the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) for its achievements in completing a comprehensive and educational publication entitled "Atlas of Narragansett Bay Coastal Habitats." (October 2001)
Junior Archery Deer Hunting Day Proclaims September 28th & 29th 2002 as "Junior Archery Deer Hunt Weekend" in Rhode Island.
House & Senate Resolutions on Emerging Ocean Technology and Environmental Biotechnology
  • S-3062 creates a nine (9) member Senate commission to examine emerging ocean technology and environmental biotechnology in Rhode Island.

  • H-8203 creates an eleven (11) member House commission to examine emerging ocean technology and environmental biotechnology in Rhode Island.
(Findings and recommendations to be completed by May 28, 2003.)
House Resolution on Earth Day Proclaims April 2002 'Earth Month' in Rhode Island.
House Resolution on M.T.B.E. Requests the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) to promote policies banning the use of M.T.B.E. as a gasoline additive in the northeastern region of the United States.
Senate Resolution on M.T.B.E. Calls upon Congress to remove the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments which require reformulated gasoline to contain at least 2% oxygen by weight. Most reformulated gasoline used in the U.S. contains the oxygenate M.T.B.E.
House Commission to Stimulate Aquaculture Commerce Extends the reporting date of the House Commission to Develop a Plan to Promote, Protect and Stimulate Aquaculture Commerce in Rhode Island through May 6, 2003.
Senate Resolution - Greenwich Bay S.A.M. Plan Calls upon the Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC) to prepare and adopt a Special Area Management (SAM) plan for Greenwich Bay and associated coves.
House Resolution on Finfish Depletion Extends the reporting date of the Special House Commission To Study The Rapid Depletion of Finfish In Rhode Island Coastal Waters through March 30, 2003.

Additional Legislative Activity in 2002:

FY 2003 Budget Article 30 - Repeals "Department of Environment" or "DOE" statute: This dual statute was adopted in 1990 and subsequently postponed via budget articles (ever since 1991). The FY 2003 budget permanently removes this statute from the RI General Laws.

For General Information 222-6800 • After Hours Emergencies 222-3070 • Disclaimer
rev. 7/9/02