STAND. COM. REP. NO. 357
RE: H.B. No. 842
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection, to which was referred H.B. No. 842 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to establish and appropriate funds for the Environmental Impact Statement Hub as a hearing and notification website within the Office of Environmental Quality Control to notify the public of current and upcoming environmental impact statement hearings, public comment periods, and allowing comments to be submitted online.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Environmental Quality Control and State Environmental Council.
Your Committee finds that transparency is important to the public, especially regarding the approval and permitting processes for construction and other projects that may impact the environment. Although the Office of Environmental Quality Control currently has a website that provides information to the public, the information provided on the site is difficult to locate. Therefore, it is necessary to encourage public participation by ensuring that the Office of Environmental Quality Control's website is more user-friendly for the public.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting its contents and inserting the contents of H.B. No. 2624, H.D. 1 (Regular Session of 2020), a similar measure that requires and appropriates funds for the Office of Environmental Quality Control to establish, implement, and maintain an interactive website available to the public at no cost that provides certain information and notifications regarding environmental assessment and environmental impact statement actions; and
(2) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 842, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 842, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection,
NICOLE E. LOWEN, Chair