STAND. COM. REP. NO. 425
RE: H.B. No. 901
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. 901 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to amend the environmental impact statement law to delete references to discretionary permits in allowing infrastructure improvements within a highway or public right-of-way to be exempt from environmental assessment requirements.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Transportation; and Office of Planning. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from Life of the Land and three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Environmental Quality Control.
Your Committee finds that infrastructure improvements, such as connecting a water or sewer line to a highway, or making a roadway connection to a public right-of-way, should not be the sole basis for triggering an environmental impact assessment, regardless of whether a discretionary consent is involved. This measure will save time and eliminate costs associated with preparing an environmental impact statement in certain circumstances and allow government entities to prioritize and review other projects as part of the environmental impact assessment process.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
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. 901, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 901, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection,
NICOLE E. LOWEN, Chair