All State Policies: Rhode Island

Who’s Responsible?

Below are short descriptions of relevant state agencies/departments by policy topic, followed by more information on specific policies.



Bolstering CWA Protections

Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act, 250 R.I. Code R. 150-15-3


Adopted rules and regulations went through the full rule-making process and was re-filed to go into effect July 1, 2022. The new effective date was proposed in order to allow a more orderly transition to the new rules.

According to the Concise Explanatory Statement for the rules and regulations, “The rules reflect RIDEM’s expanded authority, the required establishment of standards for freshwater wetland buffers and setbacks to strengthen wetlands protection and required enhanced coordination with municipalities in conjunction with the required phase out of duplicative local ordinances.”

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Drinking Water

Senate Bill 2298


The act establishes interim drinking water standards and testing requirements for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), specifically PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFNA, PFHpA, and PFDA. Public water systems, except transient, non-community water systems, were required to conduct monitoring for PFAS on or before July 1, 2023. If the results showed PFAS contamination of greater than 20ppt, quarterly monitoring was required and potable water made available to all system users. If the results were equal to or below 20ppt, annual monitoring was required. If no contamination was detected, monitoring was required every two years.

The act also authorizes the Rhode Island Department of Health to establish drinking water maximum contaminant levels for PFAS and set interim standards. The creation of PFAS groundwater quality standards and surface water quality action levels were also mandated, along with landfill monitoring of PFAS substances. The act also directed the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to create a plan to conduct a statewide investigation of the potential sources of PFAS along with a pilot project at public water systems to determine total amounts of the contaminants.

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Senate Bill 0724, Section 1


The act amends Sections 46-32-2 and 46-32-3 of Chapter 46-32 of the Rhode Island General Laws. It changes the requirement for public water systems to provide potable water through other means if they test above 20ppt for PFAS contamination (see 2022 RI S2298 for the original version). Instead, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will enter into a consent agreement with the water system to rectify the amount of PFAS in drinking water to at or below the interim standard of 20ppt.

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Environmental Justice

No policies found.

Open Water Data

No policies found.