Report Title:

Renewable Energy Facilities; Conservation and Agricultural Districts; Special Management Areas

 

Description:

Allows the development of renewable energy facilities on conservation and agricultural districts and special management areas; provided that the facilities comply with all applicable regulatory laws. (SD1)


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

245

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 1

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT


 

 

RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY FACILITIES.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State's dependence on petroleum for over ninety per cent of its energy needs is more than any other state in the nation. This dependence makes Hawaii extremely vulnerable to any oil embargo, supply disruption, international market dysfunction, and many other factors beyond the State's control.

Energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy resources will increase Hawaii's energy self-sufficiency and achieve broad societal benefits, including increased energy security, resistance to oil prices, environmental sustainability, economic development, job creation, and food self-sufficiency.

The legislature also finds that achieving Hawaii's renewable energy goals may require the development of renewable energy facilities on conservation and agricultural districts or special management areas. While conservation and agricultural districts and special management areas contain many valuable resources for the State that need special protection, the benefits of energy self-sufficiency and the reduction of our reliance on petroleum-based energy renewable energy facilities warrants those facilities being an allowed use within those districts and areas; provided that there is proper supervision and oversight to protect agricultural resources and activities, the environment, natural resources, cultural resources and activities, and the public health, safety, and welfare.

SECTION 2. Chapter 201N, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"201N- Conservation and agricultural districts; special management areas; allowed use. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the siting, development, construction, and operation of a renewable energy facility may be allowed within a conservation or agricultural district or special management area.

(b) This section shall not:

(1) Exempt renewable energy facilities from any permit or approval process under chapter 183C, 205, 205A, or 343; or

(2) Prevent any agency or authority that issues permits or approvals for renewable energy facilities from imposing reasonable and appropriate restrictions on the type of siting, development, construction, and operation of a renewable energy facility to protect agricultural resources and activities, the environment, natural resources, cultural resources and activities, or the health, safety, and welfare of the State.

(c) All agencies and authorities that issue permits or approvals for renewable energy facilities may adopt rules or procedures to:

(1) Determine the type of renewable energy facility that may be allowed within a conservation or agricultural district or special management area;

(2) Determine criteria for the appropriate siting of renewable energy facilities within a conservation or agricultural district or special management area;

(3) Identify mitigation measures applicable to renewable energy facilities to protect agricultural resources and activities, the environment, natural resources, cultural resources and activities, or the health, safety, and welfare of the State; and

(4) Allow the energy resources coordinator to give priority to applications issued as a result of this section; provided that the priority shall not mitigate the effect of any law regulating renewable energy facilities.

(d) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for the purpose of this section, renewable energy facilities within the state agricultural district shall be limited to wind energy facilities pursuant to section 205-2(d)(4) and section 205‑4.5(a)(14); bio-fuel processing facilities pursuant to section 205-2(d)(5) and section 205-4.5(a)(15); agricultural‑energy facilities pursuant to section 205-2(d)(7) and section 205-4.5(a)(16); and solar energy facilities pursuant to section 205-2(d)(6).

(e) Nothing in this section is intended to diminish the discretion of any agency or any authority under existing laws to approve or disapprove any permit application."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2009.