H.C.R. NO.









requesting a report on state and county compliance with applicable solid waste management laws, rules, and regulations.

WHEREAS, the State's landfills are near capacity in all counties, thus creating a health and environmental emergency crisis; and

WHEREAS, the State maintains and supports various waste management initiatives, including recycling; and

WHEREAS, at this time, recycling and all other current initiatives do not divert a sufficient amount of solid waste to meaningfully extend the life of the State's landfills; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to chapter 342G, Hawaii Revised Statutes, each county and the State are required to develop and implement Integrated Solid Waste Management Plans; and

WHEREAS, those plans have not been revised or fully implemented to sufficiently address the landfill crisis and other related issues; and

WHEREAS, the number of complaints by Hawaii residents are increasing as the ill effects of overfilled and improperly maintained landfills reach residential areas; and

WHEREAS, a recent investigation reveals that illegal dumping of an estimated thirty tons of solid waste occurred on Honolulu city property in Waipahu, that was not a valid waste site; and

WHEREAS, it has been reported that the area upon which the illegal dumping occurred is situated over an aquifer, thus increasing the potential for contamination of Oahu's potable water resources; and

WHEREAS, this illegal dumping may only be an initial indication of widespread illegal disposal of solid waste and the actual prevalence of environmentally hazardous materials greater than currently estimated; and

WHEREAS, this revelation likely foreshadows future discovery of illegal dumping sites, additional violations of solid waste management laws, rules, and procedures, and the extensive environmental damage and risks to public health caused by irresponsible disposal of solid waste; and

WHEREAS, every effort should be made to identify the personnel, agency, procedural, and resource shortfalls that need to be addressed in order to ensure that solid waste is disposed of appropriately; and

WHEREAS, the State must now refocus on solid waste management issues to avert a health and environmental catastrophe; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-Second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, the Senate concurring, that the Auditor is requested to investigate and report on the compliance status of the State and counties with applicable solid waste management laws, rules, and regulations from the year 2000 to the present; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Auditor is also requested to investigate whether the State's underground potable water resources have been contaminated by the leeching of chemicals or other harmful contaminants into aquifers from landfills; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Auditor is requested to work with the Department of Health to obtain and analyze data on contaminant level trends for aquifers situated under landfills as well as to conduct a sampling of soil beneath all landfills that are situated above aquifers to determine if the landfill contents are responsible for contaminating the aquifers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Auditor is requested to submit a report on its findings and recommendations, including a summary of solid waste management complaints, violations, and remedial actions taken by the State and counties from the year 2000 to the present, to the Legislature not later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2005; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Auditor, Director of Health, and to the Mayor of each county of the State of Hawaii.






Report Title:

Audit; Solid Waste Management Laws; Landfills