Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2017


RE:   H.B. No. 631

      H.D. 1





Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Water & Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 631 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to:


     (1)  Require an owner or prior owner of an abandoned well to repair or seal the well at their own expense;


     (2)  Appropriate funds for enforcement of well abandonment requirements; and


     (3)  Appropriate funds for three new positions to assist the Department of Land and Natural Resources with the inspection of abandoned wells and the enforcement of well construction and pump installation standards.  


     The Board of Water Supply testified in support of this measure.  The Department of Land and Natural Resources testified in opposition to this measure.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Specifying that the funds shall be appropriated from an unspecified special fund rather than the general fund;


     (2)  Adding language that provides that contractors and other third parties who receive funds under this Act may be subject to review and inspection by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Attorney General, or the Auditor;


     (3)  Requiring owners to notify the commission of an abandoned well transfer prior to going into escrow;


     (4)  Making an owner who transfers an abandoned well liable for not reporting, repairing or sealing the well prior to transfer to another person;


     (5)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050; and


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


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water & Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 631, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 631, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water & Land,