STAND. COM. REP. NO. 426
RE: H.B. No. 243
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Water & Land and Energy & Environmental Protection, to which was referred H.B. No. 243 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SEA LEVEL RISE ADAPTATION,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to coordinate state responsibilities for executive branch departments in addressing climate change and sea level rise adaptation by requiring each department to:
(1) Identify existing and planned facilities that are vulnerable to sea level rise, flooding impacts, and natural hazards;
(2) Assess options for mitigation impacts of sea level rise to existing and planned facilities;
(3) Establish staff level points of contact to improve interagency coordination for sea level rise adaptation, flooding, and resilience; and
(4) Submit annual reports to the Governor, Legislature, and Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Accounting and General Services, Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, League of Women Voters of Hawaii, Hawai‘i Reef and Ocean Coalition, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and three individuals.
Your Committees find that climate change and sea level rise pose significant, dangerous, and imminent threats to the State's social and economic well-being, public safety, nature and environments, cultural resources, property, infrastructure, and government functions and will likely have a disproportionate impact on low-income and otherwise vulnerable communities. Chronic impacts of sea level rise, including coastal erosion, high tide flooding, and annual high wave flooding, are already impacting many low-lying coastal areas and are predicted to increase in extent and severity in the coming decades. This measure requires the State to prepare for sea level rise by utilizing the Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report and State of Hawaii Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that each department shall utilize the latest projections and map data endorsed by the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission and State of Hawaii Hazard Mitigation Plan in their identification of existing and planned facilities;
(2) Changing the effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Water & Land and Energy & Environmental Protection that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 243, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 243, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Water & Land and Energy & Environmental Protection,
NICOLE E. LOWEN, Chair
DAVID A. TARNAS, Chair