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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Assembly passes bill to set safe standards for corrosion work on public projects
STATE HOUSE – With votes in both chambers today, the General Assembly approved legislation sponsored by House Environment and Natural Resources Committee Chairman David A. Bennett and Senate Deputy Majority Whip Ana B. Quezada to require all corrosion prevention and mitigation work on state-funded projects to comply with best-practice standards for that industry. The bill now goes to the governor.
“Obviously, the better we can do to prevent and addressing corrosion, the more value we get out of our infrastructure projects. But it’s also important to make sure the people doing that work know how to do it safely. Sometimes they are working on structures that involve hazardous materials, often old lead paint. Handling those materials improperly is dangerous to the workers, the public and the environment,” said Representative Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston).
The bill (
) would have the Department of Labor and Training in consultation with the Department of Environmental Management set standards for performance of corrosion prevention and mitigation work on public projects that reflect industry best practices. At minimum, those standards must include the use of trained and certified personnel for surface preparation and application of protective coatings and linings to steel; the use of inspectors to ensure best practices and standards are met; and the creation of a plan to prevent environmental degradation, including careful handling and containment of hazardous materials such as lead paint.
“This is a bill that protects workers, the environment and the public. Any job that involves hazardous materials should always be held to high safety standards. Any contractor the state is paying to do this work should be complying with those standards, for everyone’s protection” said Senator Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence).
The bill requires that those standards would be adopted by Jan. 1, 2023, and then requires all contractors and subcontractors performing public works contracts to comply with them beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
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