STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3034
RE: H.B. No. 1714
Honorable Donna Mercado Kim
President of the Senate
Twenty-Seventh State Legislature
Regular Session of 2014
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Energy and Environment and Water and Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 1714, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CLIMATE CHANGE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Address climate change adaptation by tasking the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee under the Department of Land and Natural Resources with creating sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation reports;
(2) Task the Office of Planning with establishing and implementing strategic climate adaptation plans and a framework for addressing other climate threats and adaptation priorities based on sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation reports; and
(3) Appropriate funds for staffing and resources related to addressing climate change adaptation.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Health, University of Hawaii, State Sustainability Coordinator, Hawaii Green Growth, Democratic Party of Hawaii, Surfrider Foundation, and six individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Office of Planning, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, and Windward Ahupua‘a Alliance.
Your Committees find that climate change is the paramount challenge of this century, posing an urgent and long-term threat to the State's economy, sustainability, security, and way of life. Rising sea levels will increase coastal flooding and erosion, damaging coastal ecosystems and infrastructure and affecting agriculture, tourism, military bases, and other industries. Threats to the traditional lifestyles of indigenous communities may include destruction of coastal artifacts and structures and reduced availability of traditional food sources and subsistence fisheries, which will make it difficult for Pacific Island communities to sustain their connection with a defined place and their unique set of customs, beliefs, and languages.
Your Committees further find that beach erosion, drought, and rising temperatures are already having measurable impacts on Hawaii and are expected to accelerate in the years to come. With beaches continuing to erode, rain continuing to diminish, and sea levels projected to rise one foot by 2050 and three feet by 2100, Hawaii is highly vulnerable. The State needs to adapt to the effects of climate change, particularly sea level rise, before these impacts grow beyond our ability to prevent the worst impacts on our economy, environment, and way of life.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting its contents and inserting the contents of S.B. No. 2344, S.D. 1 (Regular Session of Hawaii 2014), which:
(A) Establishes an Interagency Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Committee within the Department of Land and Natural Resources;
(B) Requires the Interagency Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Committee to submit a sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report for Hawaii through the year 2050 by December 31, 2017;
(C) Specifies members of the Interagency Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Committee;
(D) Specifies the formulation of the sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report;
(E) Requires the Interagency Sea Level Rise and Vulnerability and Adaptation Committee to reevaluate the sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report every five years;
(F) Requires the Office of Planning to conduct plans and studies and prepare reports to:
(i) Develop, monitor, and evaluate strategic climate adaptation plans and actionable policy recommendations addressing expected statewide climate change impacts;
(ii) Provide planning and policy guidance and assistance to state and county agencies regarding climate change; and
(iii) Publish its findings, recommendations, and progress reports on actions taken no later than December 31, 2017, and its annual report to the Governor and Legislature;
(G) Appropriates $58,874 to the Office of Planning for one full-time equivalent (FTE) position and resources to carry out the purposes of this measure;
(H) Appropriates $58,874 to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for staffing, including one full-time equivalent (FTE) position, and resources to carry out the purposes of this measure;
(I) Appropriates $400,000 to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to research and develop a coordinated, multidisciplinary sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report; and
(J) Appropriates $50,000 to the Office of Planning to carry out the purposes of this measure; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Energy and Environment and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1714, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1714, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Energy and Environment and Water and Land,
MALAMA SOLOMON, Chair
MIKE GABBARD, Chair