The House Environment and Natural Resources Committee will meet todayw for hearings on numerous bills, including the legislation to ban disposable plastic checkout bags.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the House Lounge. It will be livestreamed by Capitol Television at

Among the bills to be heard are:

  • 2021-H 5358 — Sponsored by Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett), this bill known as the Plastic Waste Reduction Act would reduce the use of plastic bags by retail establishments by offering recyclable bag options and providing penalties for violations.
  • 2021-H 5525 — This bill sponsored by Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) requires that any manufacturer or installer of solar module systems in Rhode Island establish a program as set up by the Department of Environmental Management, for the safe disposal of those systems.
  • 2021-H 5760 — Sponsored by Rep. June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol) this bill would create a forest conservation commission, to be coordinated with the Department of Environmental Management, to seek new funding and identify incentives for landowners to maintain their land as forest.

The State House remains closed to the public. In addition to livestreaming, the meeting will be televised on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox Channels 15, and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1061, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers.

A press release from the General Assembly, says that written testimony is encouraged and may be emailed to Please indicate your name, bill number, and whether your position on the bill (for, against or neither) at the top of message. For faster processing, please submit testimony as a PDF file if possible. Written testimony must be received by 2:30 p.m. Thursday to be provided to the committee. Late testimony will be provided to members after the meeting.

All written testimony will be made publicly available at To request a call to provide verbal testimony, please submit the form at this link by 11 a.m. Thursday. Do not email verbal testimony requests, please.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).