STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3415

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 1934

H.D. 1

S.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, S.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 certain exceptions.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Sierra Club, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Health and American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii.

 

Your Committee finds that Hawaii has over six thousand six hundred injection wells, which can pose risks to nearshore waters and fresh water resources. Your Committee finds that this measure would prohibit the Department of Health from issuing permits for the construction of sewage wastewater injection wells, with certain exceptions.

 

Your Committee has heard concerns of the Department of Health and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii that the exception provided for "undue hardship" is poorly defined and may be superfluous in light of other language in this measure providing for an exception where there is no "available, feasible, or practical" alternative. Your Committee also notes the Department of Health's recommendation that the language proposed by this measure might be better placed in section 340E-2(e), Hawaii Revised Statutes, which establishes the underground injection control program, rather than in chapter 342D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which governs water pollution.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Relocating proposed amendments from chapter 342D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to section 340E-2(e), Hawaii Revised Statutes;

 

(2) Clarifying that the Director of Health is prohibited from issuing permits for the construction of sewage wastewater injection wells unless alternative wastewater disposal options are not available, feasible, or practical, rather than due to undue hardship; and

 

(3) 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 Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,

 

 

 

________________________________

ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair