STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2949
RE: H.B. No. 1934
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit the Department of Health from approving the construction of sewage wastewater injection wells, with limited exceptions.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and one individual. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the City and County of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services and one individual.
Your Committee finds that according to the Environmental Protection Agency's 2016 Underground Injection Well Inventory, Hawaii has over 6,600 injection wells, which place fluid underground into porous geologic formations as a means of storing carbon dioxide and disposing of waste, among other uses. Your Committee further finds that sewage wastewater injection wells can be hazardous to the environment and pose a risk to the health and safety of the public; therefore, your Committee believes that construction of sewage wastewater injection wells should be prohibited in the State, to the extent that such a ban is practicable.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Allowing an applicant to construct a sewage wastewater injection well if the applicant demonstrates that the applicant will endure undue hardship if the well is not constructed;
(2) Directing the Department of Health to adopt administrative rules pursuant to Chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes;
(3) Changing the effective date to upon its approval; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair