STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1106
RE: H.B. No. 1300
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 1300, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CORAL,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require the Environmental Center of the University of Hawaii to conduct ongoing studies of the environmental impacts of sewage spills on affected coral reefs and report annually to the Legislature on its findings; and
(2) Appropriate funds to the University of Hawaii to conduct the ongoing studies.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Sierra Club of Hawaii and three individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the University of Hawai‘i System.
Your Committees find that Hawaii has experienced numerous wastewater spills in recent years that have released large amounts of raw sewage into the ocean. Estimates indicate around ten thousand gallons of raw sewage spillage in 2016, and five hundred thousand gallons in 2015. Your Committees further find that research demonstrates that raw human waste contains microbes that cause coral diseases such as white pox and black band disease. Your Committees additionally find that it is imperative that the State make efforts to better protect Hawaii's coral reef ecosystems, and that understanding the environmental impact of wastewater spills is a critical component of these efforts.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting language to make the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii responsible for conducting the ongoing studies and reports related to the environmental impacts of sewage spills on affected coral reefs rather than the Environmental Center;
(2) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2017; and
(3) 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 Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1300, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1300, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair