STAND. COM. REP. NO.3295

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2002

RE: H.B. No. 2212

H.D. 1

S.D. 2

 

 

Honorable Robert Bunda

President of the Senate

Twenty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2002

State of Hawaii

Sir:

Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 2212, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ALIEN INVASIVE SPECIES,"

begs leave to report as follows:

The purpose of this measure is to establish an invasive species administrator/coordinator position to coordinate state activities to fight invasive species.

Your Committee finds that there is widespread agreement among farmers, scientists, government agencies, business people, and others that stopping the influx of new invasive pests into the State is essential to Hawaii's future well-being. A 1994 report of the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment declared that Hawaii's invasive species problem was the worst in the nation. Each year an average of twenty new insects become established in our islands and for the past five years, an average of one hundred new alien plants are found annually in the State.

Just one of these insects or plants, as well as animals, can wreak havoc upon the State economically and environmentally - the Miconia plant costs $1,000,000 to contain on Maui alone, and emotionally - the Caribbean Coqui frog invasion has caused sleepless nights for multitudes of residents on several islands.

The problem is exacerbated by the apparent inability of state agencies to coordinate their efforts to effectively control and eradicate these pests. Although there have been efforts in the past aimed at specific species, an administrative strategy and plan that accounted for all alien pests has been sorely lacking.

This bill provides the administrative mechanism to address this concern by establishing and authorizing an alien species administrator/coordinator to assign lead responsibility for specific invasive species to specific state departments. This assignment, as well as other proposed duties performed by the administrator/coordinator, will provide the accountability that is necessary to effectively fight invasive species in Hawaii.

The bill also provides authorities with access to private property to eradicate or control invasive species, appoints the invasive species coordinator as head of the Emergency Environmental Workforce, and makes an appropriation to effectuate the purposes of the measure.

Your Committee has amended the bill by:

(1) Changing the expending agency to coincide with an amendment made in a prior draft of the bill concerning administrative attachment;

(2) Clarifying enforcement provisions;

(3) Changing the appropriation amount to $1 for purposes of continued discussion; and

(4) Making technical changes that have no substantive effect.

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2212, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2212, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,

____________________________

BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair