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Home > Publications > 2000 Legislation
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Environmental Bills Signed into Law


Land Trust Bills

Local Bond Bills

General Assembly's Website for the Text of House and Senate Bills

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State of Rhode Island
2000 Legislative Session

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


Bill Description

Lobster Trap Tag Program
(H-7847 A aa)

Authorizes the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council to institute a lobster trap tag program. Authorizes DEM to establish trap tag fees by regulation, and limits use of fee revenues. Calls upon DEM to create a 5-member industry advisory committee to recommend use of fee revenues. Requires DEM to report annually to the General Assembly on lobster management and trap tag program.

Commercial Fishing License Moratorium
(H-8340 B aa)

Provides for a one-year moratorium on the issuance of new commercial fishing licenses through June 30, 2001. Allows any prior licensee to renew by August 15, 2000. Allows licenses to be transferred among immediate family members during the moratorium.

Official State Fish - Striped Bass
(H-2190 A)

Establishes the striped bass as the official state fish.

Deer Hunting
(S-2395 A)

Reduces the safety zone for archery hunting from 500 ft. to 200 ft. Also gives DEM rulemaking authority to adjust the safety zone for archery hunting, on a case-by-case basis, to reflect community interests.

Heavy Duty Diesel Inspection and Maintenance Program
(H-7741 A)

Provides for the testing of smoke emissions from heavy duty diesel vehicles. Calls upon DMV to establish rules and regulations and to develop testing techniques and emission standards. On-road inspection by the State Police to be initiated by January 2001; annual inspections to take effect by January 2003.

Warning Signs - Lead Paint Removal Materials
(H-7216 aa)

Requires retailers who sell abrasive materials used for lead paint removal to post a warning sign, provided by DOH, saying that removal may increase the risk of childhood lead poisoning.

Out-of-State Waste
(H-7108 A)

Clarifies and strengthens the prohibition on the disposal of out-of-state waste at the central landfill. (Extends ban to include transfer stations and other entities that sort, recycle, process, manufacture, or remanufacture out-of-state waste.)

Construction and Demolition
(C&D) Debris Processing Facilities

(H-7613 aa)

Brings all C & D debris processing facilities under the regulatory provisions of the Refuse Disposal Act.

C&D Fire Protection Plans
(H-7676 aa)

Requires C & D debris facilities to have their fire protection plans approved by the local fire chief as a prerequisite for receiving a license from DEM. Authorizes local fire chiefs to conduct inspections. Requires any facility found out of compliance with fire plan to cease operation until deficiency is corrected. Requires license to be revoked if any facility is found to be in violation of its fire plan on 3 inspections within any 3-year period.

Landfill Monitoring
(H-8093 A aa)

Calls upon DEM, in consultation with DOH, to promulgate rules and regulations by December 31, 2000 requiring the development and implementation of air and/or water monitoring plans by solid waste management facilities in the vicinity of the central landfill. Also establishes new civil penalty provisions in the Refuse Disposal Act.

(S-2841 aa)

Reforms and streamlines the General Laws and DEM's associated administrative program with regard to battery control. Eliminates vehicle battery deposit and associated reporting requirements.

Waste Oil

Clarifies that waste oil is not a hazardous waste, but rather a special waste regulated under the Hazardous Waste Act.

AAD - Uniform Appeal Period
(H-7744 A)

Establishes a 20-day uniform appeal period for all enforcement actions taken by DEM, and a uniform 30-day appeal period for all license and permit decisions. Takes effect on January 1, 2001.

Tax Incentive for Investment in Pollution Prevention Equipment

Makes air, water or hazardous waste pollution prevention equipment eligible for an amortization deduction.

Renewable Energy Sales Tax Credit
(S-2280 A)

Provides a tax credit/refund to purchasers of certain types of renewable systems, including solar, wind and photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. Takes effect on January 1, 2001.

Building Rehabilitation Code
(S-2885 aa) (Kelly)
(H-8179 A) (McCauley)

Amends the Rhode Island State Building Code by establishing a rehabilitation code for existing buildings and structures.

Public Trust Doctrine
(H-7504 A aa)

Reaffirms and strengthens the Public Trust Doctrine in Rhode Island. Provides that no conveyance of title of submerged or filled tidelands can occur without General Assembly approval. Authorizes CRMC to issue licenses for filled tidelands, with General Assembly approval also needed for large-scale projects. Extinguishes all harbor lines.

Regulation of Personal Watercraft
(S-2862 aa) (Walsh)
(H-8318 aa) (Lewiss)

Authorizes the towns of Charlestown and Westerly to regulate the operation of personal watercraft on bodies of water within their respective jurisdictions.

State Vehicles
(H-7580 B aa)

Amends General Law governing the use of state vehicles for commuting purposes.

Environmental Labeling

Repeales obsolete provisions in the General Laws that establish state standards for environmental labeling.

Repeal of the Tank Vessel Safety Act

Repeals the Tank Vessel Safety Act.

Uniform Oil Response and Prevention Fee-Reduction for Asphalt Products
(S-2349 A)

Reduces the amount of the uniform oil response and prevention fee for asphalt products from 5 cents per barrel to 1 cent per barrel.

Water Conservation (Farmers)
(S-2623 A aa)

Provides incentives to farmers to practice water conservation by affording priority status, during any allocation of water withdrawals by the Water Resources Board, to those farmers with agricultural water withdrawal management plans.

Tree Wardens
(S-2434 aa)

Deletes residency requirement for municipal tree wardens.

Tree Wardens - Exemption for Jamestown
(G. Levesque)

Adds the town of Jamestown as an exempted town for the imposition of any residency requirement on arborist applications.

(Apparently superceded by S-2434.See above.)

State Planning Council - Addition of two (2) Environmental Representatives
(S-2466 A) (Sosnowski)
(H-8070) (Ginaitt)

Adds two (2) representatives of a private, non-profit environmental advocacy organization to the state planning council.

Counseling for Animal Cruelty
(S-2412 A aa)

Allows courts to determine whether a person found guilty of violating animal cruelty laws should receive counseling.

Immunity for Reporting Animal Cruelty
(S-2431 A)

Provides immunity to veterinarians who report animal neglect, abuse or abandonment.

Private Animal Shelters

Adds private animal shelters to the reporting requirements already in place for municipal facilities, and further specifies that all such reports shall be sent to DEM on a monthly basis.

Exemption for the Importation of Animals
(S-2644 A) (Perry)
(H-7709 A aa) (Slater)

Exempts animal care facilities accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums and licensed by the USDA from obtaining DEM permits for importation of animals, provided each facility complies with DEM import/possession specifications prior to importation. Also eliminates the 6-month limit for variances issued by DEM under the Wild Animal Importation Chapter.

Animal Shelters - 24 Hour Holding of Animals
(H-6891 A)

Authorizes DEM to promulgate regulations governing the voluntary surrender of animals at shelters.

Animal Husbandry - Dogs - Exemption for Exeter

Includes Exeter in the list of cities and towns that are excepted from appointing appraisers to appraise damage done to livestock by dogs.

Management of Big River Reservoir
(S. Anderson)

Establishes the Water Resources Board as the agency responsible for managing the Big River Reservoir property, while preserving DEM's role regarding forestry operations and the exercise of its enforcement authority in the area.

Water Testing - Delivery of Consumer Confidence Report
(H-7057 aa)

Requires water suppliers to notify households within each supplier's service area of the results of water testing via delivery of Consumer Confidence Report.

Board of Certification of Operators of Public Water Supply Facilities

Updates the definition of operator, adds the definitions of non-community water system and non-community non-transient water system, and brings the requirements for state certification into conformance with federal EPA standards.

Water Supply System Protection

Corrects an incorrect reference in the RI General Laws pertaining to 'Public Drinking Water Supply System Protection' (Chapter 46-15.3) involving the University of Southern California.

New Shoreham Water Supply System
(H-7157) (Garvey)
(S-2011 aa) (Sosnowski)

Authorizes New Shoreham to plan, construct, operate, maintain, extend and improve a water supply system for the town. Must be approved by New Shoreham voters for entire act to take effect. Portions of H-7157 were later repealed by H-8209.

New Shoreham Water Supply System

Repeals portions of H-7157 which specify the requirements for the Town of New Shoreham to issue future bonds and notes for the construction of a new public water system. As with H-7157, this act authorizes the town to ask the voting public if a new water system should be planed and constructed.

Babbit Memorial Wildlife Refuge

Names a parcel of land in Tiverton, RI the Preston S. and Ann V. Babbitt Memorial Wildlife Refuge.

Senator John H. Chafee Memorial Park

Names park along Blackstone Bikeway in Lincoln (Lonsdale Ave./Rt.123) the "Senator John H. Chafee Memorial Park."

Thomas Byrnes Bike Path
(H-7559 aa)

Names the East Bay Bike Path (in the Town of Bristol) the "Thomas Byrnes Bike Path."

Disaster Response / Emergency Management
(S-2413 aa)

Provides technical revisions to the laws pertaining to disaster response and emergency management (G.L. Ch 30-15). This G.L. Chapter is now called the "Rhode Island Emergency Management Act."

Expansion of Commuter Rail Service

Provides for continuation and expansion of commuter rail service within the state of Rhode Island. Amends the General Laws to allow property owned by the state to be leased for up to 99 years so long as the property is used to provide commuter rail service in Rhode Island.

Resolution Number/



Requests Governor Almond and the federal government to provide funding for the purchase of Rocky Point Park as open space.

S-2286 aa

Creates a 7-member special Senate commission to study lead poisoning in Cranston. The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the Senate by January 31, 2001.


Creates a 7-member special Senate commission to study the licensing and certification of arborists in Rhode Island. One of the seven- (7) members shall be the Principal Forester, from DEM's Division of Forest Environment. The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the Senate by January 30, 2001.


(Joint Resolution) Creates a 15-member special legislative commission to study the concept of sustainability in state government. Three (3) commission members shall be representatives of state departments or agencies (to be appointed by the Governor). The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the Senate by January 16, 2001.

H-8190 aa

Requests DOT to prohibit direct access to Cowesett Road from the former Warwick Musical Theater property and preserve Bonoff Park (18.5 acres) as open space.


Requests DEM and DMV to investigate RI authorized inspection repair stations' claims about a) equipment costs, b) time requirements for inspections, and c) possible adverse economic impacts on inspection stations. DEM and DMV are required to hold public hearings as part of their investigation, and shall report their findings to the Senate on January 2, 2001.

H-6758 aa

Creates a 9-member permanent standing House committee on accountability in relation to all aspects of the environment and the conservation of natural resources. This resolution took effect upon passage (January 2000).

H-6989 aa

Requests DEM to investigate the gasoline additive MBTE and determine if the State should regulate or ban its use in Rhode Island.


Creates a 9-member special House commission to study alternative sites for a landfill. The Director of DEM or a designee shall serve on this special commission. The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the House by January 19, 2001.


Urges Rhode Island cities and towns to combine resources to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in all communities.

H-7879 Sub A

Requests the Rhode Island Airport Corporation to provide incentives to all airport tenants to utilize alternative fuel vehicles for the purpose of improving air quality in and around T.F. Green Airport.

H-7999 Sub A

Requests that the U.S. Congress remove the requirement in the Clean Air Act for 2% of content by weight oxygenate in reformulated gasoline.


Extends the life of the special House commission to study contamination in the Barrington River. The Director of DEM or a designee shall serve on this special commission. The commission shall report to the House by November 30, 2000. The same members are appointed to the newly extended commission.


Directs the Department of Administration to assign necessary staff to perform functions required by the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act, 45-22.


Creates a 13-member special House commission to study animal euthanasia. The State Veterinarian (from DEM's Department of Agriculture) shall act as an ex-officio commission member. The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the House by March 15, 2001.


Requests the Attorney General of Rhode Island to a) investigate legal, legislative, and administrative strategies available to the State to deny the issuance of a new permit PG&E's Brayton Point power station, b) take all available measures to ensure that discharges from the Brayton Point Power Plant do not contribute to the further degradation of the environment of Mount Hope Bay, and c) determine what fines or measures for reimbursement are available to the State of Rhode Island.


Proclaims April 22, 2000 to be "Earth Day" and April as "Earth Month" in Rhode Island.


Requests DOT to make public consultant's studies related to dismantling/disposing of the former Jamestown Bridge. This resolution supports the preservation of a portion of the former Jamestown Bridge as a fishing pier and the placement of portions of the bridge as man made reefs.


Extends the reporting date of the special House commission to study the rapid depletion of finfish in Rhode Island's coastal waters. The Director of DEM or a designee shall serve on this special commission. The commission shall present its findings by March 30, 2001.



Proclaims May 21-26, 2000 as Safe Boating Week in Rhode Island.


Extends the reporting date of the 17 member special House commission to develop and coordinate a collaborative effort to formulate a restoration plan for the North Cape Barge oil spill. One of the 17 members shall be a representative of DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife. The commission shall present its findings by May 5, 2001.

(M. Anderson)

Urges the U.S. Congress to protect the nation's national parks and provide full and permanent funding for the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.


Bill Description

Smithfield Land Trust
(S-2177) (Flynn)
(H-7050 A) (Winfield)

Amends statutory language in relation to the Smithfield Land Trust.

Hopkinton Land Trust
(S-2189) (Walsh)
(H-7634) (Kennedy)

Establishes a Hopkinton Land Trust.

Burriville Land Trust

Establishes a Burriville Land Trust.

Warwick Land Trust
(S-2981) (Revens)
(H-8080) (Bramley)

Establishes a Warwick Land Trust.

North Providence Land Trust

Establishes a North Providence Land Trust.

Johnston Land Trust

Establishes a Johnston Land Trust.

Bill Number/



Purpose for Bond

S-3035 (Walsh)
H-8354 (Kennedy)



Open space / recreation

S-2822 (Blais)
H-8041 (Inman)




S-3008 (Gallo)
H-8307 (Montanaro)



Infrastructure improvements (including improvements to the city's shoreline)

S-3010 (Izzo)
H-8309 (Pisaturo)



Storm drains

S-3013 (Izzo)
H-8310 (Garabedian)



Open space

S-3037 (Connors)
H-8342 (Menard)



Open space / recreation

S-2961 (Fogarty)
H-8214 (Carroll)



Open space / recreation

S-2971 (Paiva-Weed)
H-8253 (Levesque)



Sewers / sewage treatment

S-3007 (Oster)
H-8337 (Menard)



Open space/ recreation

S-3052 (Gibbs)
H-8394 (Long)



Open space / recreation

S-3057 (Gibbs)
H-8393 (Long)







Sewers / sewage treatment

S-3042 (Sosnowski)
H-8347 (Garvey)

New Shoreham


Open space / recreation

S-3043 (Patterson)
H-8370 (Benson)

North Kingstown


Acquiring development rights

H-8215 A
(M. Anderson)




H-8232 A
(M. Anderson)



Sanitary and storm drains

S-2900 (Sosnowski)
H-8152 (Garvey)

South Kingstown


Open space / recreation / agriculture

S-2902 (McDonald)
H-8149 (Garvey)

South Kingstown


Park facilities

S-2962 (Sosnowski)
H-8150 (Garvey)

South Kingstown


Park facilities / bikeways

S-3022 (Revens)
H-8301 (Sherlock)



Water system infrastructure improvements




$3.5 million for open space
$500,000 for recreation land

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