The bill amends Section 23-19.1-6 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-19.1, titled "Hazardous Waste Management," to modify the powers and duties of the director in charge of hazardous waste management. The amendment includes a new provision that the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) rules and regulations for the investigation and remediation of hazardous material releases shall not require the remediation of naturally occurring arsenic at levels below nineteen parts per million (19 ppm). This insertion specifies an exemption for arsenic at low levels, which is a change from the existing regulations that may have required remediation for any level of arsenic.

The bill also reaffirms the director's authority to adopt necessary plans, rules, regulations, procedures, and standards to ensure proper hazardous waste management and to protect public health and the environment. These regulations should be compatible with federal standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The act is set to take effect on October 1, 2024, which is the date from which these amendments will be operational. The explanation provided by the Legislative Council clarifies that the act specifically addresses the remediation requirements for naturally occurring arsenic.

Statutes affected:
2544  SUB A: 23-19.1-6
2544: 23-19.1-6