HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

55

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 1

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE GOVERNOR TO CONVENE A WORKING GROUP TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE CONSOLIDATION OF STATE ENVIRONMENTAL FUNCTIONS AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT.

 

 

 


     WHEREAS, environmental issues, including mitigating and adapting to climate change, reducing carbon emissions, planning for sea level rise, protecting natural resources, watersheds, and coral reefs, reducing solid waste, and improving wastewater disposal, are some of the most pressing and urgent issues of our times; and

 

     WHEREAS, the State has enacted various laws to address environmental issues; and

 

     WHEREAS, the state divisions, agencies, offices, officials, and employees that are most involved with these issues are separated and housed under different departments; and

 

     WHEREAS, the placement of environmentally-related responsibilities in different departments, divisions, agencies, and offices deprioritizes environmental issues and hinders coordination of the implementation of solutions; and

 

     WHEREAS, the absence of a single executive branch department that bears all the responsibilities for environmental issues results in an absence of leadership on these urgent issues; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, the Senate concurring, that the Governor is requested to convene a Department of the Environment and Consolidation of State Environmental Functions Working Group; and

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following individuals, or their respective designees, are requested to serve as members of the working group:

 

     (1)  The Governor;

 

     (2)  The Director of Health;

 

     (3)  The Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources;

 

     (4)  The Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control;

 

     (5)  The Administrator of the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands;

 

     (6)  The Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Coordinator of the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands;

 

     (7)  The Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism;

 

     (8)  The Director of the Office of Planning;

 

     (9)  The Deputy Director for Environmental Health Administration of the Department of Health;

 

    (10)  The Executive Director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152;

 

    (11)  The State Director of the United Public Workers, AFSCME Local 646, AFL-CIO; and

 

    (12)  A representative of a nonprofit organization dedicated to resolving environmental issues, as designated by the Chair of the working group; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor or the Governor's designee is requested to serve as the chair of the working group or, in the alternative, designate a chair from among the other members of the working group; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of the Environment and Consolidation of State Environmental Functions Working Group be attached to the Governor's office for administrative purposes; and

 

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of the Environment and Consolidation of State Environmental Functions Working Group is requested to consider and make recommendations on consolidating the functions of all the existing state departments, divisions, agencies, and offices that are designated to address environmental issues into a single Department of the Environment; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of the Environment and Consolidation of State Environmental Functions Working Group is requested to submit to the Legislature a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, no later than sixty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2021; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of the Environment and Consolidation of State Environmental Functions Working Group shall cease to exist after June 30, 2021; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor; Director of Health; Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources; Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control; Administrator of the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Coordinator of the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands; Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Director of the Office of Planning; Deputy Director for Environmental Health Administration; Executive Director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152; and State Director of the United Public Workers, AFSCME Local 646, AFL-CIO.

Report Title:

State Environmental Functions; Department of the Environment