STAND. COM. REP. NO. 954

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 637

H.D. 2

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Government Operations, to which was referred H.B. No. 637, H.D. 2, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE STATE BUILDING CODES,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to expedite the review, update, and adoption of the Uniform Plumbing Code as it relates to the Hawaii State Building Codes and appropriate funds for the State Building Code Council to carry out its duties and hire additional staff.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii; Surfrider Foundation Kauai; Sierra Club of Hawaii; Hawaii Green Growth; Plumbers and Fitters Local 675; One World One Water, LLC; and two individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the State Building Code Council and General Contractors Association of Hawaii. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the State Fire Council and Honolulu Fire Department.

 

Your Committees find that maintaining and conserving the State's fresh water supply is vital to the State's future health. Scientists predict that warmer and drier conditions throughout the Pacific region will result in drought and rising temperatures, thus causing a decrease of fresh water supplies. Therefore, changes should be made so that the State can increase its ability to capture, store, and efficiently use fresh water. One means of accomplishing these needed changes is through amendments to the Uniform Plumbing Code, through the state building codes, which will encourage water resource conservation, improvements to water distribution, and recovery of used water. Accordingly, this measure seeks to expedite the review, update, and adoption of the Uniform Plumbing Code as it relates to the Hawaii State Building Codes by:

 

(1) Requiring the State Building Code Council to adopt necessary and desirable amendments to the Uniform Plumbing Code within one year after the updated Uniform Plumbing Code is published;

 

(2) Requiring each county to adopt the necessary and desirable amendments to the Uniform Plumbing Code within one year after the updated Uniform Plumbing Code is adopted by the State Building Code Council; and

 

(3) Establishing the Uniform Plumbing Code as the interim county building code if not adopted by the county within the one-year time frame.

 

However, your Committees understand the testimony offered by the State Building Code Council that this measure's one-year time frame for updating the Uniform Plumbing Code is unrealistic given the Council's staffing issues and inadequate funding. Consequently, as written, this measure would likely have little or no impact. Your Committees suggest that if your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Ways and Means decide to hear this measure, that those Committees make further inquiry into what would constitute an appropriate amount of time for the State Building Code Council to adopt necessary amendments to the Uniform Plumbing Code.

 

Accordingly, your Committees have amended this measure by replacing all references to a one-year time frame for the adoption of amendments to the Uniform Plumbing Code with an unspecified time frame.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Government Operations that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 637, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 637, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Government Operations,

 

________________________________

DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair

 

________________________________

CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair