STAND. COM. REP. NO. 536-14

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2014

 

RE: H.B. No. 2639

H.D. 2

 

 

 

 

Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Seventh State Legislature

Regular Session of 2014

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water & Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 2639, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO GEOTHERMAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to establish the framework to regulate geothermal development activities through a permitting process by, among other things:

 

(1) Authorizing the Board of Land and Natural Resources to issue permits for geothermal resource development within a conservation district;

 

(2) Restoring the county process by authorizing the appropriate county authority to issue permits for geothermal resource development within agricultural, rural, and urban districts if the proposed activities are not expressly permitted uses under the applicable county plan and zoning ordinances;

 

(3) Requiring renewable energy producers to apply to the Board of Land and Natural Resources for a mining lease on state lands; and

 

(4) Prescribing penalties and remedies for violation of laws and rules relating to state mineral rights and requiring penalties, fees, and costs that are collected in connection with regulation of state mineral rights to be deposited into the Special Land and Development Fund.

 

The Department of Land and Natural Resources; Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Mayor of the County of Hawaii; Big Island Community Coalition; Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Kapolei Community Development Corporation; Huena Power; Indigenous Consultants, LLC; Waimanalo Hawaiian Homes Association; and Innovations Development Group testified in support of this measure. Life of the Land; Puna Pono Alliance; Malu Aina; Paradise Action Womens Alliance; and numerous concerned individuals testified in opposition to this measure. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and a few concerned individuals commented on this measure.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Ensuring that prospective geothermal resources development will have the least detrimental environmental and social impact by requiring that any geothermal resource development requires a geothermal resources development permit that shall be issued according to set guidelines;

 

(2) Clarifying that the counties may issue geothermal resources development permits in agricultural, rural, or urban districts;

 

(3) Clarifying that the Board of Land and Natural Resources shall govern the issuing of geothermal resource development permits in conservation districts;

 

(4) Requiring that the Board of Land and Natural Resources initiate a hearing in the community where a proposed geothermal resource development permit is being sought;

 

(5) Including the criteria for geothermal subzones into the geothermal permitting process;

 

(6) Allowing decisions to be appealed through a contested case hearing in the Intermediate Court of Appeals;

 

(7) Changing the effective date to January 28, 2878, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(8) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for clarity, consistency, and style.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water & Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2639, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2639, H.D. 2, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water & Land,

 

 

____________________________

CINDY EVANS, Chair

 

____________________________

CHRIS LEE, Chair