Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                   , 1999

                                 RE: H.B. No. 942
                                     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. 942 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to statutorily allow for
additional time during the public review process for
environmental assessments and environmental impact statements
when necessary.

     The Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Office of
Environmental Quality Control, Na Leo Pohai, Hawaii's Thousand
Friends, the Hawaii Audubon Society, and two individuals
testified in favor of this bill.  Three individuals academically
associated with the University of Hawaii commented on the bill.
The Department of Transportation and the Land Use Research
Foundation testified in opposition to the measure.  The Hawaiian
Electric Company, Hawaii Electric Light Company, and Maui
Electric Company testified to their concerns that the extension
period is open-ended with no time limitations.

     The current review periods are 30 days for environmental
assessments and 45 days for environmental impact statements.
However, past practice has been to allow extensions when they are
agreed to by both the applicant and the accepting authority,
generally to make corrections to the documents without the need
to resubmit them and begin the review period all over again.
Without the flexibility of extensions, some projects faced
unnecessary procedural delays.

                                 STAND. COM. REP. NO. 323
                                 Page 2


     Such an informal extension was used for the Lihue Airport
runway extension, allowing the State document to be reviewed in
line with the Federal document.  There is no indication that this
informal practice was ever abused or used solely for the purpose
of delaying a permit approval.

     However, in response to a request asking about these
informal extensions, the Attorney General in 1998 stated that the
time limits as written do not provide any method for extending
these periods and that the informal procedure was not permitted.

     To address the concerns of the Attorney General, this bill,
as introduced, added a provision making the 30-day and 45-day
periods minimum periods.  Your Committee finds that the intent of
the bill is to provide for the extension of the review periods to
enable the applicant to make changes to the document without
having to resubmit it.  The intent is not to cause additional
delays in the approval process.  With this in mind, your
Committee has amended this measure to make certain that the time
limits are minimum limits which may be extended with the approval
of the applicant and agency or according to rule; or, in the case
of an agency-proposed action, by the agency.

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

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

                                   HERMINA M. MORITA, Chair