HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2625

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2018

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that plastic marine debris is fouling the State's ocean and beaches. Plastic marine debris is essentially indestructible. It does not go away over time, instead, it breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments. These smaller fragments, referred to as microplastics (or marine debris measuring less than five millimeters, or about the size of a sesame seed and smaller), are difficult to remove and persist forever. In order to reduce plastic marine debris from Hawaii's ocean and beaches it is important, where feasible, to remove marine debris before it breaks down.

The legislature finds that both larger and smaller pieces of plastic marine debris have significant negative impacts on the environment. Ingestion of marine debris contributes to the death of marine animals and bird populations. This poisons the food chain and impacts all species, including birds, whales, turtles, seals, corals, and small organisms. This also poisons the fish that form the foundation of the local fishing industry, and ultimately, it poisons the humans that eat the affected fish. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world's oceans. Plastic pollution defaces the State's iconic beaches, which are the very foundation of the State's tourism industry.

The legislature further finds that removal of plastic marine debris from beaches is critical to both the State's economy and environment. However, the legislature finds that removal has been hampered by disagreement among agencies over responsibility and jurisdiction. Pursuant to section 46-12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, counties are charged with removing and clearing all seaweed, limu, and debris that are likely to create an unsanitary condition or otherwise become a public nuisance on the shores and beaches within the respective counties. However, the counties, to date, have not applied that responsibility to plastic marine debris on county shores and beaches.

The department of land and natural resources is charged with managing, administering, and exercising control over public lands, water resources, ocean waters, navigable streams, coastal areas (excluding commercial harbor areas), aquatic life and coastal programs. The department also has jurisdiction over state marine waters, which extend seaward from the upper reaches of the wash of the waves. This generally includes Hawaii's beaches. The legislature believes that the department should be responsible for regularly removing plastic marine debris from beaches and should be provided additional appropriations to carry out this important task.

The counties are authorized within their limits to make and enforce all necessary ordinances covering all matters relating to the collection and disposition of rubbish and garbage. Accordingly, the legislature finds that the counties should be responsible for promptly disposing of the plastic marine debris collected by the department of land and natural resources and volunteers at permitted solid waste management systems.

The purpose of this Act is to help protect the beaches and ocean in the State from plastic marine debris by:

(1) Requiring that the department of land and natural resources regularly remove plastic marine debris from shores and beaches and making an appropriation to the department to carry out this purpose; and

(2) Requiring the counties to dispose of, promptly and at permitted solid waste management systems, the marine plastic debris collected by the department of land and natural resources and volunteers.

SECTION 2. Chapter 46, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"46- Disposal of plastic marine debris. The counties shall be responsible for disposing of, promptly and at permitted solid waste management systems, the plastic marine debris collected by the department of land and natural resources, pursuant to section 171- and volunteers from the shores and beaches situated within the respective counties."

SECTION 3. Chapter 171, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"171- Cleaning shores and beaches of plastic marine debris. (a) The department of land and natural resources shall be responsible for removing and clearing plastic marine debris from the shores and beaches of the State. The department shall establish procedures, in accordance with best practices, for removing the debris no less than monthly. In determining best practices for removing plastic marine debris, the department shall consult and coordinate with experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris program, other coastal states, and nonprofit organizations to ascertain the most efficient and effective practices, equipment and technologies that will remove the most plastic marine debris, particularly microplastics, from the State's shores and beaches.

(b) No later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session the department shall report to the legislature on the amount of plastic marine debris, specifically the amount of microplastics, removed from the State's shores and beaches in the prior calendar year.

(c) For purposes of this section, "microplastics" means plastic marine debris of an individual size of less than five millimeters."

SECTION 4. Section 46-12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"46-12 Cleaning shores and beaches of seaweed, limu, and debris. [The] Except as provided in section 171- , the various counties shall be responsible for removing and clearing all seaweed, limu, and debris which are likely to create an unsanitary condition or to otherwise become a public nuisance from the shores and beaches situated within the respective counties; provided that to the extent any of the foregoing work is a private responsibility, the responsibility may be enforced by the county in lieu of the work being done at public expense."

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $        or so much as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the acquisition of equipment and hiring of necessary staff by the department of land and natural resources to carry out the purposes of this Act.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $        or so much as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the acquisition of equipment and hiring of necessary staff by each of the several counties, to be allocated as follows:

(1) To the city and county of Honolulu: $

(2) To the county of Maui: $

(3) To the county of Hawaii: $

(4) To the county of Kauai: $

The sum appropriated shall be expended by each respective county for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2018.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

DLNR; Counties; Pollution; Ocean and Beach Marine Debris; Environmental Protection; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources to remove plastic marine debris from shores and beaches and for the counties to dispose of plastic marine debris collected by the department. Appropriates moneys.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.