Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                   , 1999

                                 RE: H.B. No. 595
                                     H.D. 1

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. 595 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is preserve scenic resources in the
State by:

     (1)  Establishing strict guidelines for the Board of Land
          and Natural Resources (BLNR) to use when considering
          applications for the construction of high voltage
          electric power transmission lines within the State
          conservation district;

     (2)  Requiring BLNR to conduct public hearings on these
          applications; and

     (3)  Specifying that the approval of such applications
          requires the affirmative vote of a majority of BLNR

     Na Leo Pohai, the Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter, Life of the
Land, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, and an individual testified in
support of this measure.  The Department of Land and Natural
Resources, Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaii Electric Light
Company, Maui Electric Company, and Kauai Electric opposed this
bill.  The University of Hawaii's Environmental Center offered

                                 STAND. COM. REP. NO. 262
                                 Page 2

     Your Committee finds that overhead high voltage electric
transmission lines degrade the State's vital natural landscape.
Ideally, such practices should be avoided, especially within the
conservation district.  At the same time, however, restricting
the placement of these lines along ridges and slopes provides
utility companies with only few alternatives, most of which are
costly to consumers.  Accordingly, your Committee recognizes the
need to strike a balance between ensuring that the consumer cost
for basic utilities be affordable and preserving the quality of
our natural resources.

     Upon further consideration, your Committee has amended this
bill by providing BLNR with flexibility in reviewing an
application by:

     (1)  Requiring BLNR to consider and make a determination on
          the guidelines rather than adhering to them;

     (2)  Specifying that the guidelines are not strict standards
          but rather descriptions of the visibility of
          transmission lines and related structures; and

     (3)  Directing BLNR to deny the application whenever it
          determines that any of the guidelines has been met,
          unless the applicant demonstrates that every
          alternative has been considered to avoid or mitigate
          the guideline, and that the guideline cannot be avoided
          or mitigated.

     This bill was further amended by:

     (1)  Emphasizing that an applicant may not automatically
          construct high voltage electric power transmission
          lines even if BLNR fails to render a timely decision;

     (2)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for
          purposes of clarity.

     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. 595, as amended herein, and recommends that
it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No.
595, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Water and Land

                                 STAND. COM. REP. NO. 262
                                 Page 3

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

                                   HERMINA M. MORITA, Chair