S.C.R. NO.














requesting a study on establishing a hawaii state geological survey.



     WHEREAS, Hawaii faces a wide range of geological issues, including coastal erosion, limited ground and surface water, rock falls and landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, depleted rock aggregate resources, and geothermal energy; and


     WHEREAS, Hawaii's activities related to these geological issues are spread among a variety of state and county agencies, such as the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Commission on Water Resource Management and Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, the Department of Health, and the county water supply departments; and


     WHEREAS, these state and county agencies serve specific purposes for their respective agencies, potentially leaving gaps in efforts to collect and analyze geologic data on issues of importance to the State such as: geologic hazards, including but not limited to earthquakes, coastal erosion and flooding, flash flooding, rock falls, landslides, soil erosion, and volcanism; and geologic resources, including but not limited to groundwater, watersheds, rock quarrying, sand and gravel mining, geothermal energy, reef management, wetland and dune management, and beach and shoreline management; and


     WHEREAS, many mainland states have established a geological survey, as a state agency that creates, interprets, and disseminates applied earth science information to address societal needs; and


     WHEREAS, Hawaii is one of only two states that has never received federal funds to perform geological studies; and


     WHEREAS, a Hawaii state geological survey could compete for such federal funds and provide a broader range of geological information; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Legislative Reference Bureau is requested to conduct a study on establishing a geological survey as a state agency in Hawaii; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature requests that the study include:


     (1)  Identification of the needs or problems, if any, to be addressed by a state geological survey;


     (2)  Identification of existing resources and how those resources are being utilized compared to a typical geological survey agency in other states;


     (3)  Identification of potential sources for additional funding, staff, or other resources;


     (4)  Research into mainland states' geological surveys, their purpose, histories, structure, funding, and other pertinent information;


     (5)  Identification of alternative forms that may satisfy any unmet needs, including but not limited to consolidating existing geologist positions under a single entity and seeking to expand the United States Geological Survey's Hawaii office;


     (6)  Identification of strengths and weaknesses of these different alternatives; and


     (7)  Recommendations as to whether a geological survey should be established as a state agency in Hawaii and potential issues that would need to be addressed; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in conducting the study, the Legislative Reference Bureau is requested to consult, as necessary, with the following individuals, organizations, and interest groups:

     (1)  Department of Land and Natural Resources;


     (2)  Department of Health;


     (3)  County water supply departments;


     (4)  University of Hawaii;


     (5)  United States Geological Survey; and


     (6)  Any other organization or person that the Legislative Reference Bureau deems appropriate; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislative Reference Bureau is requested to submit a report of any findings and recommendations to the Legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the Regular Session of 2009; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau, the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Director of Health, the Mayor and the Chairperson of the Council of each county, the director of each county's water supply agency, the President of the University of Hawaii, and the District Chief of the Hawaii Office of the United States Geological Survey.









Report Title: 

Study on Conducting a Hawaii State Geological Survey