Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2535

       S.D. 2




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 2535, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to provide uniformity throughout the State relating to geothermal energy.


     More specifically, this measure:


     (1)  Clarifies that regulation of geothermal resources development and geothermal resources exploration is reserved to the State unless specifically delegated to the counties by statute;


     (2)  Requires the lessee of a mining lease to comply with state and county laws relating to building, grading, and flood control codes; and


     (3)  Requires the rules of the Board of Land and Natural Resources regarding mining operations, geothermal resources development, and geothermal resources exploration, including drilling conditions and restrictions, to be uniform throughout the State. 


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources; Hawaii Leeward Planning Conference; Hawaii Association of Realtors; Kapoho Management Company, Inc.; and forty-six individuals. 


     Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from the Sierra Club of Hawaii; Birth Sovereignty; We Are One, Inc.; Puna Pono Alliance; Pele Lani Farm, LLC; and fifty-six individuals.  


     Your Committee received written comments on this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and three individuals.


     Your Committee finds that geothermal energy development in Hawaii reduces Hawaii's reliance on fossil fuels and contributes to Hawaii's energy diversification.  Your Committee further finds that county regulation of geothermal energy activities may conflict with state regulation, thus impeding the ability of geothermal energy producers to safely and efficiently conduct exploration or production activities.  Ensuring a uniform system of geothermal energy regulation promotes efficient geothermal energy development in the State.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by changing the effective date to January 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2535, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2535, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,