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                                                        1023
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The department of health is moving toward
 
 2 adoption of a risk-based environmental management strategy, which
 
 3 is based upon risk assessment to human health and the
 
 4 environment, rather than upon rigid technical standards.
 
 5      Under the Comprehensive Emergency Response, Compensation and
 
 6 Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990
 
 7 (OPA 90), the department of health has responsibility as a
 
 8 "natural resources trustee."  To fulfill this responsibility, the
 
 9 department must have the ability to evaluate the impact of
 
10 chemical releases and oil spills on the complex ecosystems of
 
11 Hawaii.  This expertise requires an individual who is trained and
 
12 experienced in the field of ecological risk assessment.
 
13      In addition, as a trustee, the department is required to
 
14 conduct damage assessments and negotiate penalties with those
 
15 responsible for chemical releases and oil spills that harm the
 
16 environment.
 
17      To do this effectively, the department must have expertise
 
18 in-house to support the claims made by the State.  It is
 
19 difficult for the department to make its case and negotiate
 

 
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 1 successfully without a credible expert in the area of natural
 
 2 biology and ecological risk assessment.  This is a very
 
 3 specialized field of study and the expertise will support all the
 
 4 programs of the environmental health administration.
 
 5      SECTION 2.  Chapter 128D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 6 amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated
 
 7 and to read as follows:
 
 8      "128D-    Ecological risk assessor.  The department may
 
 9 establish a permanent exempt position for an ecological risk
 
10 assessor for the purpose of assessing ecological risks and
 
11 damages.  The position shall be appointed by the director without
 
12 regard to chapters 76 and 77.  The funds for this position shall
 
13 come from the environmental response revolving fund established
 
14 in section 128D-2."
 
15      SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.
 
16      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
17 
 
18                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________
 

 
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