STAND. COM. REP. NO. 630

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 521

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment, Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, and Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 521 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 enhance Hawaii's environment and economy by ensuring that in the future, the counties employ best practices to protect their beaches and shorelines from the unsanitary conditions and public nuisances caused by plastic marine debris.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Dolphin Quest, Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition, Sierra Club of Hawaii, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Surfrider Foundation, and ten individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Honolulu Emergency Services Department and one member of the Maui County Council.

 

Your Committees find that plastic marine debris is fouling Hawaii's iconic beaches and the ocean, harming recreation and the State's largest industry, tourism. Larger and smaller pieces of plastic marine debris have significant negative impacts on the environment and contribute to the potential death of marine animals and bird populations through ingestion.

 

Your Committees further find that the removal of plastic marine debris from beaches is critical to Hawaii's economy and environment. However, your Committees find that removal has been hampered by disagreement over which agencies have responsibility and jurisdiction and which practices are best practices for removing plastic marine debris. Therefore, your Committees find that establishing a working group to create a unified state and county approach to, and research best practices for, plastic marine debris removal is the most appropriate action at this time.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Removing the requirement that the counties shall determine best practices for plastic marine debris removal, remove plastic marine debris from their shores and beaches, and report to the Legislature each regular session;

 

(2) Establishing the Plastic Marine Debris Working Group and designating the membership of the working group;

 

(3) Directing the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources to appoint a representative of the Board of Land and Natural Resources to act as the chair of the Plastic Marine Debris Working Group;

 

(4) Directing each county to cooperate with and participate in the Plastic Marine Debris Working Group;

 

(5) Directing Plastic Marine Debris Working Group to consult and coordinate with experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, other coastal states, and non-profit organizations regarding the most efficient and effective practices, equipment, and technologies;

 

(6) Requiring the Plastic Marine Debris Working Group to report to the Legislature prior to the 2021 legislative session on its findings and include each county's plan for how to collect and transport plastic debris from its beaches and shorelines to solid waste management systems, among other requirements;

 

(7) Inserting an appropriation amount of $100,000 for each fiscal year to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to administer the working group and, if necessary, retain a facilitator to coordinate with others regarding best practices on removing plastic marine debris from beaches and shorelines; and

 

(8) 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, Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 521, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 521, 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, Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, and Water and Land,

 

________________________________

CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair

 

 

________________________________

KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair