STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2996
RE: H.B. No. 2470
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 2470, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require state and county agencies to adopt and maintain rules pertaining to environmental protection, air quality, water supplies, water quality, and drinking water that are as stringent as, or more stringent than, applicable baseline federal standards.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Board of Water Supply of the City and County of Honolulu, Malama O Puna, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club of Hawaii, and five individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Farm Bureau. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Health, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, and Building Industry Association of Hawaii.
Your Committees find that under new leadership, the Environmental Protection Agency has begun making decisions that conflict with the mission of the agency to protect human health and the environment, including decisions that contradict or ignore scientific findings and merits. Your Committees further find that such decisions may negatively impact Hawaii, which relies on the Environmental Protection Agency to protect human health and the environment from dangerous pollution, toxic debris, and contaminated drinking water. Your Committees find that this measure aims to protect the people and environment of Hawaii by authorizing its environment-related agencies to adopt rules to fill the gaps left by negligent or harmful decisions of the Environmental Protection Agency. Your Committees further find that other areas regulated by local environment-related agencies should also be strengthened to be no less stringent than baseline federal standards.
Accordingly, your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting language to apply the baseline federal standards to provisions relating to solid waste, solid waste control, hazardous waste control, underground storage tank regulation, and asbestos emission and lead hazard control, in addition to water supplies, air quality, water quality, and drinking water;
(2) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2020, to allow time for the Department of Health to update its underground storage tank regulations; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2470, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2470, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair
MIKE GABBARD, Chair