HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1350

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to the environment.

 

 

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

 


PART I

SECTION 1. Chapter 341, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Part II. ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE MAPPING AND DATA COLLECTION

341-A Environmental justice mapping. (a) The environmental council, in consultation with the department of health, department of land and natural resources, university of Hawaii environmental center, and relevant stakeholders, shall establish an interactive, transparent, integrated, and statewide tool for assessing and mapping environmental justice communities, based on the cumulative impacts of all indicators selected by the council to be integrated into the tool.

(b) In establishing the tool under subsection (a), the council shall:

(1) Integrate into the tool indicators that fall into categories including:

(A) Demographics, particularly relating to socioeconomic hardship and social stressors, such as:

(i) Race and ethnicity;

(ii) Low income;

(iii) High unemployment;

(iv) Low levels of home ownership;

(v) High rent burden;

(vi) High transportation burden;

(vii) Low levels of educational attainment;

(viii) Linguistic isolation;

(ix) Energy insecurity or high utility rate burden;

(x) Food insecurity;

(xi) Health insurance status and access to healthcare; and

(xii) Incidence of police brutality complaints;

(B) Public health, particularly data that are indicative of sensitive populations, such as:

(i) Rates of asthma;

(ii) Rates of cardiovascular disease;

(iii) Child leukemia or other cancers that correlate with environmental hazards;

(iv) Low birth weight;

(v) Maternal mortality;

(vi) Domestic violence;

(vii) Rates of lead poisoning; and

(viii) Rates of diabetes;

(C) Pollution burdens, such as pollution burdens created by:

(i) Toxic chemicals;

(ii) Air pollutants;

(iii) Water pollutants;

(iv) Soil contaminants; and

(v) Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances; and

(D) Environmental effects, such as effects created by proximity to:

(i) Risk management plan sites;

(ii) Hazardous waste facilities; and

(iii) Sites on the National Priorities List developed by the President of the United States in accordance with section 105(a)(8)(B) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9605(a)(8)(B));

(2) Investigate how further indicators of vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, including proximity and exposure to sea level rise, wildfire smoke, fossil fuel infrastructure, flooding, drought, rising average temperatures, extreme storms, and extreme heat, should be incorporated into the tool as an additional set of layers;

(3) Identify and consider the effects of other indicators relating to environmental justice, including:

(A) Safe, sufficient, and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and stormwater services;

(B) Access to and the quality of:

(i) Green space and tree canopy cover;

(ii) Healthy food;

(iii) Affordable energy;

(iv) Transportation;

(v) Reliable communication systems, such as broadband internet;

(vi) Child care;

(vii) High-quality public schools;

(viii) Streets; and

(ix) Health care facilities;

(C) Length of commute;

(D) Indoor air quality in multiunit dwellings;

(E) Outdoor air quality;

(F) Mental health;

(G) Labor market categories, particularly relating to essential workers; and

(H) Each type of utility expense;

(4) Identify a methodology to account for the cumulative impacts of all indicators selected by the council to be integrated into the tool to provide environmental justice scores for regions that are as small as practicable to identify communities, given the identified available data, and not larger than a census tract;

(5) Ensure that the tool is capable of providing maps of environmental justice communities based on environmental justice scores described in paragraph (4);

(6) Implement a method for users of the tool to generate a map and environmental justice score based on a subset of indicators, particularly for the purpose of using the tool in addressing various policy needs and investment goals;

(7) Make the tool customizable to address specific policy needs and investment goals;

(8) Account for conditions that are not captured by the quantitative data used to develop the one or more maps and environmental justice scores comprising the tool, by:

(A) Developing and executing a plan to perform outreach to relevant communities; and

(B) Establishing a mechanism by which communities can self-identify as environmental justice communities to be included in the tool, which may include citing qualitative data on conditions for which quantitative data are lacking, such as cultural loss in native Hawaiian communities;

(9) Consider that the tool:

(A) Shall be used across the State in screening state policies and investments for environmental and climate justice impacts; and

(B) May be used to assess communities for pollution reduction programs; and

(10) Carry out any other activities the council determines to be appropriate.

341-B Hearings; updates. (a) In developing the tool described in section 341-A, the council shall conduct public hearings in accordance with chapter 92.

(b) The council shall update the tool described in section 341-A not less frequently than annually to account for data sets that are updated annually.

(c) Not less frequently than once every three years, the council shall:

(1) Update the indicators, methodology, or both for the tool described in section 341-A; and

(2) Reevaluate data submitted by state agencies that is used for the tool.

(d) After the initial establishment of the tool described in section 341-A and each update under subsection (b) or (c), the council shall publish a report describing:

(1) The process for identifying indicators relating to environmental justice in the development of the tool;

(2) The methodology described in section 341-A(b)(4); and

(3) The use of public input and community engagement in that process.

(e) The council shall:

(1) Develop virtual training tutorials and sessions for environmental justice communities for the use of the tool described in section 341-A; and

(2) Where practicable, provide in-person training sessions for environmental justice communities for the use of that tool.

(f) The council shall make available to the public on an internet website of the office of environmental quality control:

(1) The tool described in section 341-A;

(2) Each update under subsections (b) and (c);

(3) Each report under subsection (d); and

(4) The training tutorials and sessions developed under subsection (e).

341-C Data gap audits. (a) In establishing the tool described in section 341-A, the council shall direct relevant state departments and agencies to conduct an audit of data collected by the department or agency to identify any data that are relevant to environmental justice concerns, including data relating to:

(1) Public health metrics;

(2) Toxic chemicals;

(3) Socioeconomic demographics;

(4) Air quality; and

(5) Water quality.

(b) The council shall direct a state department or agency, in conducting an audit under subsection (a), to address gaps in existing data collection that will assist the council in establishing and operating the tool described in section 341-A, including by providing to the department or agency:

(1) Benchmarks to meet in addressing the gaps; and

(2) Instructions for consistency in data formatting that will allow for inclusion of data in the environmental justice data repository described in section 341-D.

(c) Not later than one hundred eighty days after a state department or agency has conducted an audit under subsection (a), the council shall:

(1) Make available to the public on an internet website of the office of environmental quality control a report describing the findings and conclusions of the audit, including the progress made by the department or agency in addressing environmental justice data gaps; and

(2) Submit the report to the legislature.

341-D Data collection. (a) The director of environmental quality control shall establish an environmental justice data repository to maintain the data collected by the council through the establishment of the tool described in section 341-A and the audits conducted under section 341-C.

(b) The director shall update the data in the data repository described in subsection (a) as frequently as practicable, but not less frequently than once every three years."

SECTION 2. Chapter 341, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by designating sections 341-1 to 341-6 as part I, entitled:

"PART I. GENERAL PROVISIONS"

SECTION 3. Section 341-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding four new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Cumulative impacts" means a measure of how multiple environmental harms, such as exposure to different types of pollution, co-occur and then interact with extant population characteristics, such as health, economic, demographic, and social factors, to produce amplified harm.

"Environmental justice" means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, culture, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies to ensure that each person enjoys:

(1) The same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards; and

(2) Equal access to any state or county agency action relating to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies for the purpose of having a healthy environment in which to live, learn, work, and recreate.

"Environmental justice community" means a community having significant representation of communities of color, low-income communities, or native Hawaiian communities, that experiences, or is at risk of experiencing, higher or more adverse human health or environmental effects, as compared to other communities.

"Relevant stakeholder" means:

(1) A representative of a state or county government agency;

(2) A representative of a nongovernmental organization having experience in areas that may include native Hawaiian relations, environmental conservation, county planning, and public health;

(3) A representative of a labor union;

(4) A representative or member of:

(A) An environmental justice community; or

(B) A community-based organization for an environmental justice community;

(5) An individual having expertise in cumulative impacts, geospatial data, and environmental justice, particularly an individual from an academic or research institution; or

(6) An advocate having experience in environmental justice who represents an environmental justice community."

PART II

SECTION 4. 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 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the environmental council to develop and maintain a tool to identify economic justice communities.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.

PART III

SECTION 5. In codifying the new sections added by section 1 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 6. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that part II shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Environmental Council; Environmental Justice Mapping; Data Collection; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires the environmental council to develop a tool to identify economic justice communities. Defines "economic justice community". Appropriates moneys.

 

 

 

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