STAND. COM. REP. NO. 678
RE: S.B. No. 1505
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Transportation and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 1505 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HARBORS,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to authorize the Department of Transportation to make harbor facilities temporarily available as a harbor of safe refuge when the National Weather Service forecasts a tropical storm or hurricane strength cyclones, unless specifically prohibited by the United States Coast Guard Captain of the Port.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency; Ocean Tourism Coalition; Calypso Charters; O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Sea Link of Hawaii, Inc.; Atlantis Adventures; Passenger Vessel Association; Malolo Charters; Hawaii Pilots Association; Trilogy Excursions; Activities and Attractions Association of Hawaii; and two individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from Matson. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Transportation.
Your Committees find that the Department of Transportation is responsible for the care and control of commercial harbors in Hawaii. Hawaii's isolated island geography emphasizes the significance of ocean cargo transport as the lifeline and only viable means to serve and support every facet of the local economy, including tourism, construction, national defense, agriculture, and all other industries supporting the State. Your Committees recognize the importance of critical harbors and believe that the Department of Transportation should be empowered to take all actions necessary to make the State's ports recoverable and accessible.
Your Committees further recognize the concerns regarding the increased risk to resuming port operations in the case of a delay in reopening the ports due to a sunken vessel or a vessel causing damage to any piers. However, your Committees believe that the safety of everyone holds the highest priority of the State.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Establishing a working group to create a plan of action when the National Weather Service forecasts a tropical storm or hurricane strength cyclones for small vessels under two hundred gross tons and examine the feasibility of making harbor facilities temporarily available as a harbor of safe refuge for those small vessels;
(2) Establishing the membership of the working group; and
(3) Requiring the working group to submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2020.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Transportation and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1505, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1505, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Transportation and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair