THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

3050

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to conservation.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that human activities have contributed to the fragility of local habitats, leading to a current crisis in the survival of Hawaiian plants and animals and impacting public and private land use. Chapter 195D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides that the intended purpose of all habitat conservation plans, safe harbor agreements, incidental take licenses, and subsequent actions is to promote recovery of Hawaii's threatened and endangered species.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Establish a habitat conservation program manager position within the department of land and natural resources and appropriate funds for the initial establishment of the position; and

(2) Charge habitat conservation plan applicants an hourly fee for all assistance provided by the habitat conservation program manager, which shall be used to maintain the habitat conservation program manager position.

The legislature further finds that effective implementation of Hawaii's endangered species law, section 195D-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, requires resources for adequate staffing. Currently, the department of land and natural resources division of forestry and wildlife has three administrative positions to manage statewide projects, plus additional staff supported by grants to produce standalone habitat conservation plans. The incidental take licenses currently issued or approved by the board of land and natural resources for these plans and agreements cover at least forty-five threatened or endangered species on five islands, and the department of land and natural resources is currently processing additional draft habitat conservation plans and consulting on other potential projects that will add at least fifteen more species. The State's initiative to reach one hundred per cent renewable energy by 2045 is another factor that will likely result in more requests for incidental take licenses. The legislature finds that funding a state civil service position to draft rules that implement and clarify the intent of chapter 195D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, work with applicants for incidental take licenses to develop their projects to minimize and mitigate incidental take of threatened and endangered species to the maximum extent practicable, and track and monitor funds and expenditures related to each habitat conservation plan project would further improve the implementation of chapter 195D, Hawaii Revised Statutes. This would provide greater consistency in issuing incidental take licenses, conducting follow-up monitoring for development projects, and implementing and managing mitigation and other projects that are extremely beneficial for the recovery of Hawaii's threatened and endangered species.

SECTION 2. Chapter 195D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"195D-     Habitat conservation program manager; fees. (a) There is established within the department a habitat conservation program manager position. The habitat conservation program manager shall draft rules that implement and clarify the intent of this chapter, work with applicants for incidental take licenses, as part of a habitat conservation plan, to develop their projects to minimize and mitigate incidental take of threatened and endangered species to the maximum extent practicable, effectively track and monitor funds and expenditures related to habitat conservation plans, conduct follow-up monitoring for development projects, and implement and manage mitigation and other projects that benefit the recovery of threatened and endangered species.

(b) The department shall charge all habitat conservation plan applicants an hourly rate of $50 for all assistance provided to applicants by the habitat conservation program manager relating to their habitat conservation plan, including incidental take licenses. The fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the endangered species trust fund established under section 195D-31. The fee established by this subsection shall be in addition to any other applicable fee."

SECTION 3. Section 195D-23, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

(d) The department [may] shall establish a habitat conservation technical assistance program to assist landowners in developing, reviewing, or monitoring habitat conservation plans by providing technical assistance. The department may collect fees and payment for costs incurred for use of the technical assistance program in the development, review, or monitoring of a specific habitat conservation plan. Fees shall be charged at an hourly rate of $50. The fees and payment for costs collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the endangered species trust fund established under section 195D-31."

SECTION 4. Section 195D-31, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) There is established within the state treasury a trust fund to be known as the endangered species trust fund to be administered by the department to implement the purposes of this chapter.

The fund shall consist of moneys from the following sources:

(1) Moneys accrued from the sale of retail items officially sponsored by the department for the fund;

(2) Private contributions for the management and recovery of Hawaii's unique plants and animals;

(3) Fees and assessments charged for the use of public land and waters and designated for the fund;

(4) Penalties, fines, or auctions resulting from enforcement violations;

(5) Legislative appropriations; [and]

(6) Moneys deposited to implement the obligations of a habitat conservation plan, as security for habitat conservation plan funding, or technical assistance program fees and payment for costs incurred for use of the technical assistance program as set forth in section 195D-23(d)[.]; and

(7) Fees collected for assistance provided by the habitat conservation program manager as set forth in section 195D-    ; provided that the fees shall be used to maintain the habitat conservation manager position established pursuant to section 195D-    ."

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for start-up costs for one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) state civil service position established pursuant to section 2 of this Act.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that section 5 shall take effect on July 1, 2020.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Department of Land and Natural Resources; Habitat Conservation Plans; Incidental Take Licenses; Staff Position; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes a habitat conservation program manager position to be funded from fees charged to applicants for assistance provided to habitat conservation plan (HCP) applicants. Requires the habitat conservation program manager to draft rules that implement and clarify the intent of chapter 195D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, work with applicants for incidental take licenses, as part of a HCP, to develop their projects to minimize and mitigate incidental take of threatened and endangered species to the maximum extent practicable, effectively track and monitor funds and expenditures related to habitat conservation plans, conduct follow-up monitoring for development projects, and implement and manage mitigation and other projects that benefit the recovery of threatened and endangered species. Appropriates funds.

 

 

 

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