STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2866
RE: S.B. No. 2808
Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
President of the Senate
Twenty-Fourth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2008
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 2808, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to exempt from environmental assessment requirements:
(1) Certain projects involving the use of state or county lands, or when the expenditure of state or county funds limited to an existing public street, road, or highway for an easement, drainage, waterlines, access improvements, utility right of way, or the like; and
(2) Certain projects involving a modification or disposal of highway access rights or use, occupancy, or work within a public highway right-of-way to serve private development outside the highway right-of-way.
Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the Department of Transportation; the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Planning and Permitting; the American Society of Civil Engineers; The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii; the Contractors Association of Kaua‘i; The Gas Company; the General Contractors Association of Hawaii; the Hawaii Developers' Council; Hidano Construction, Inc.; HSI Mechanical, Inc.; the Laborers Union Local 368; Maui Contractors Association; Miyake Concrete Accessories, Inc.; Ralph S. Inouye Co., Ltd.; the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties; and one individual. Testimony in opposition was received from Earthjustice; the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation; the University of Hawaii Environmental Center; the Sierra Club, Hawai‘i Chapter; and three individuals.
Your Committee notes that this measure expressly provides that it is not intended to be interpreted as exempting the entirety of a development project from environmental assessment requirements. Additionally, the proposed exemptions are inapplicable when the cumulative impact of certain planned successive actions is significant or when impacts may be significant due to the involvement of a particularly sensitive environment. Further, the proposed exemption for modification or disposal of highway access rights or use is inapplicable when a Land Use Commission or Board of Land and Natural Resources action is involved; when certain small acreages of land undisturbed by intensive human uses is involved; or when the use of certain plants and animals not established in Hawaii are involved.
Your Committee received a large number of comments from the public concerning this measure. Your Committee notes that this bill contains a one-year sunset date in light of a possible study of our State's environmental impact statement law. In this regard, some public street, road, or highway projects may warrant an environmental assessment while others may not. Your Committee also notes the measure's July 1, 2050 effective date to encourage further discussion.
Your Committee hopes that the parties in support and in opposition can work on their differences which will result in a compromise.
Your Committee amended this measure by removing the section 1 purpose clause.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2808, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2808, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,
BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair