Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                   , 1999

                                 RE: H.B. No. 1141

Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, to
which was referred H.B. No. 1141 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to enable the Department of
Health (DOH) to evaluate the impact of chemical releases and oil
spills on Hawaii's complex ecosystems by authorizing the
establishment of an ecological risk assessor position.

     Under Chapter 128D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, DOH is
responsible for protecting the public health and the environment
from releases of hazardous substances.  Thus far, the emphasis
has been on protecting human health.  The DOH is meeting this
need for human health risk assessment by requesting a second
toxicologist position in its budget request.

     However, there is no expertise in DOH in ecological risk
assessment.  This is a vital need, because under the federal
Superfund law and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the State serves
as trustee for natural resources.  In the event of an oil spill,
the cleanup is only part of the response.  The other part is to
assess the impact of the spill on the environment so that the
State can be compensated for damages done to its natural

                                 STAND. COM. REP. NO. 62
                                 Page 2

     DOH and the Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter testified in support
of this measure.  The University of Hawaii's Environmental Center
offered comments.

     The proposed position is to be funded from DOH's
Environmental Response Revolving Fund.  Your Committee defers to
the Committee on Finance to determine the appropriateness of this
funding source.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection that is attached
to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and
purpose of H.B. No. 1141 and recommends that it pass Second
Reading and be referred to the Committee on Labor and Public

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Energy and
                                   Environmental Protection,

                                   HERMINA M. MORITA, Chair