HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

266

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

URGING THE COUNTIES TO CONSIDER ADOPTING GRAY WATER PROVISIONS OF THE UNIFORM PLUMBING CODE AND REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO DEVELOP A PLAN TO AUTHORIZE GRAY WATER RECYCLING SYSTEMS FOR RESIDENTIAL PREMISES UNDER APPROPRIATE CIRCUMSTANCES.

 

 

 


     WHEREAS, each of the counties has adopted building codes and provisions from the Uniform Plumbing Code, but none of the counties has adopted the gray water provisions of the Uniform Plumbing Code, which are significantly more restrictive than the provisions of section 342D-70, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and title 11, chapter 62, Hawaii Administrative Rules; and

 

     WHEREAS, in 2007, the Legislature enacted part II of chapter 107, Hawaii Revised Statutes, by which the State Building Code was established; and

 

     WHEREAS, section 107-25, Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides that the State Building Code shall include, among other things, the most recent edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code; and

 

     WHEREAS, part II, chapter 107, Hawaii Revised Statutes, tasks the State Building Code Council with adopting the State Building Code, including any necessary or desirable state amendments to the model codes listed in section 107-28, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and

 

     WHEREAS, section 107-28, Hawaii Revised Statutes, requires the counties to amend the State Building Code, when adopted, as it applies within each county's respective jurisdiction using the model building codes and standards listed in section 107-25 by no later than two years after the adoption of the State Building Code, otherwise, the State Building Code shall become applicable as an interim county building code until the county adopts the amendments; and

 

     WHEREAS, the State Building Code Council has not yet adopted the Uniform Plumbing Code; and

 

     WHEREAS, even if the State Building Code Council adopts the State Building Code, including the gray water provisions of the Uniform Plumbing Code, today, the counties will not be required to adopt such provisions until 2011; and

 

     WHEREAS, notwithstanding that the State Building Code has not yet been adopted, none of the counties has adopted the gray water provisions of the Uniform Plumbing Code; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Legislature enacted section 342D-70, Hawaii Revised Statutes, in 1993 to allow the Department of Health to authorize the counties to establish programs regulated by the Department of Health for the recycling of gray water from residential units for the purpose of irrigating lawns and gardens; and

 

     WHEREAS, Senate Standing Committee Report No. 645 (1993) found that gray water recycling "is consistent with the State's environmental policy, which calls for the conservation of natural resources and the recycling of waste water" and that it will help alleviate the impact of decreasing county water supplies and the significantly increased burden on waste water treatment and disposal systems; and

 

     WHEREAS, Senate Standing Committee Report No. 645 (1993) also found that "oversight of private wastewater systems falls within the purview of the Department of Health" and that the Department of Health should, therefore, have "jurisdiction over the gray water recycling program"; and

 

     WHEREAS, House Standing Committee Report No. 1209 (1993) made similar findings and noted that "[w]ith the water tables in each county decreasing, the use of gray water recycling will help alleviate some of the demand for water for the purposes of irrigation"; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Department of Health subsequently adopted title 11, chapter 62, Hawaii Administrative Rules, to establish definitions and design standards for gray water recycling systems; and

 

     WHEREAS, according to its Wastewater Branch, the Department of Health has approved at least one gray water recycling system in the District of Kona, Island of Hawaii; and

 

     WHEREAS, none of the counties has applied to the Department of Health to establish a gray water recycling program; and

 

     WHEREAS, legislation was considered in 2008 that would place responsibility for developing gray water recycling programs with the Department of Health, but the Director of Health testified that the Department lacks the resources to oversee implementation of a gray water program for residences served by county sewer systems; and

 

     WHEREAS, in consideration of the Director of Health's 2008 testimony, House Bill No. 763 was introduced in 2009 to require the Department of Health to implement a gray water recycling program for premises not served by county wastewater systems and authorize the counties to establish gray water recycling programs for premises that are served by county wastewater systems, provided the standards for those programs are no more restrictive than those set forth in the State's administrative rules; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Comptroller, on behalf of the State Building Code Council, testified in opposition to House Bill No. 763 because, in his opinion, it conflicted with the process set forth for adoption by the State Building Code Council of the State Building Code; and

 

     WHEREAS, section 342D-70, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and title 11, chapter 62, Hawaii Administrative Rules, authorize residential gray water recycling programs; and

 

     WHEREAS, county building departments will not issue permits for construction or modification of dwellings that incorporate gray water recycling systems, notwithstanding clear authority to do so in State law; and

 

     WHEREAS, the burden on water supplies and on wastewater treatment systems has only increased since the Legislature authorized the establishment of gray water recycling programs in 1993; and now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the Senate concurring, that the counties are urged to consider adopting the gray water provisions of the Uniform Plumbing Code, while the formal adoption of the State Building Code is pending and during the two-year county implementation period; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Director of Health is requested, in consultation with the State Building Code Council and the counties, to develop a plan by which section 342D-70, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and title 11, chapter 62, Hawaii Administrative Rules, may be given effect for residential premises not served by county wastewater systems, including review and approval by the Department of Health of plans for proposed gray water recycling systems; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health is requested to submit a report to the Legislature setting forth its plan, together with any recommended legislation, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2010; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health, the Comptroller, and the Mayor and the Chairperson of the Council of each county.

Report Title: 

Gray Water; Building Permits