STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2672
RE: S.B. No. 2162
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Water and Land and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 2162 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SEA LEVEL RISE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Direct the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission to address areas already impacted by sea level rise, identify vulnerable critical public infrastructure, create a plan for mitigating and adapting to sea level rise, and provide policy direction to the Legislature on funding and strategies to address the impacts of climate change on the State; and
(2) Appropriate funds.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, Maui Chamber of Commerce, IMUAAlliance, Board of Water Supply, one member of the Maui County Council, and five individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Office of Planning.
Your Committees find that Hawaii is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, extreme tides, accelerated coastal erosion, and stronger, more frequent storms. Even with decisive actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many of the impacts of climate change are inescapable, and require that the population and environment adapt to them. Your Committees find that the Hawaii Climate Adaptation Initiative was established in 2014 with the purpose of protecting the State's economy, health, environment, and way of life by considering how to best adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. This measure will appropriate funds to the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission so that they address ways to strengthen Hawaii's overall readiness to face sea level rise and climate change.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Incorporating proposed changes from the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission to:
(A) Move language requiring the Commission to consider and make specific recommendation on sea level rise policies that have been implemented in other states and nations that may be applicable in Hawaii so that this work is considered a baseline for the tasks listed in section 2(a);
(B) Remove language requiring the Commission to conduct an inventory and replace it with language requiring the Commission to bring resources to the various agencies and departments in the form of best practices, formulate guidance, and provide a coordinating structure and timeframe within which to work;
(C) Remove language requiring that the Commission identify priority areas throughout the State that will be subject to high rates of coastal erosion and sea level rise, including public infrastructure and private properties;
(D) Remove language that requires the Commission to design and propose sea level rise impact zone maps to be adopted by the Legislature and provide a guidepost for future sea level rise adaptation policies and replace it with language requiring the Commission to work with partners to operationalize sea level rise exposure areas into county planning and permitting, and provide a status update in its annual report to the Legislature;
(E) Remove language that requires the Commission to work with state and county agencies to develop sea level rise adaptation plans in accordance with the sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report and replace it with language that requires the Commission to work to enhance, uniformize, and support the work of the state and county agencies in their development of sea level rise adaptation plans utilizing the sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report; and
(F) Remove language requiring the Commission to make specific recommendations to the Legislature for policies that may be adopted for managed retreat, relocation of infrastructure, or mitigation measures to minimize the impacts of sea level rise for public infrastructure and private properties, including information regarding how these recommendations may be funded; and
(2) Inserting language requiring the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission to submit a proposal for a state supplemental flood insurance program for properties within the State subject to climate change impacts to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2021; 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 Water and Land and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2162, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2162, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Water and Land and Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair