House OKs bill to extend air quality monitoring at Green
STATE HOUSE -- The Rhode Island House of Representatives today passed legislation, 2015-H 5479, introduced by Rep. Eileen Naughton (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) at the request of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, extending air quality monitoring at T.F. Green Airport until July 31, 2017. Under current law, the air quality monitoring requirements will expire on July 31, 2015.
The Permanent Air Quality Monitoring Act was amended in 2007 to provide for long-term air quality monitoring at T.F. Green Airport. Specifically, the act required the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) to design, acquire, install, operate and maintain the monitoring program that monitors black carbon, volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
The act included a sunset date of July 31, 2015, and required the Attorney General, the Department of Environmental Management, and the Department of Health to submit recommendations regarding the continuation of air monitoring to the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the Senate President by January 31, 2015, for their consideration in extending the sunset date.
In January, Attorney General Kilmartin sent his recommendation Governor Raimondo, Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello and President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed that air monitoring at T.F. Green Airport continue for at least two years. The Department of Health also sent a letter of recommendation. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian has also expressed his support for the extension of the sunset date.
Said Representative Naughton, “As long as the airport is in operation, we need to know what it’s pumping into the air. There are people living nearby, breathing these substances, inhaling these potentially dangerous particulates into their lungs. We need to continue monitoring the air long-term. We owe it to the neighbors of the airport.”
“The health and well being of residents near T.F. Green Airport remain a top priority for this office and it is critical to continue to monitor the air quality to ensure it is maintained at acceptable levels,” said Attorney General Kilmartin.
For more information, contact:
Larry Berman, Communications Director for the Office of the Speaker
State House Room 331A
Providence, RI 02903