HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

842

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to environmental impact statements.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature 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.

The legislature further finds that the public is often unaware of a pending project until after the environmental council has made a decision on an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement at which point the time for public comments is past.

The legislature also finds that increasing public participation and awareness of projects prior to acceptance of the environmental assessment or environmental impact statement will allow the public time to participate in the process.

The legislature also finds that although the office of environmental quality control currently has a website that provides information to the public, the information provided on the site is not user-friendly. Information is difficult to locate, and the site does not highlight pending environmental assessments or environmental impact statements that are currently open for public comments.

The legislature also finds that public frustration is increased when there is a lack of opportunity for participation. Therefore, improving the office's website and highlighting the projects still open for public comments will allow the public to participate in the process.

SECTION 2. Section 343, Hawaii Revised Statues, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"343- Environmental Impact Statement Information Hub. (a) There is established within the office of environmental quality control, the Environmental Impact Statement Information Hub, responsible for providing:

(1) Notification of upcoming environmental impact statement hearings, including dates, times and locations;

(2) Notification of the start and end dates of each public comment period with a link to provide comments online;

(3) A summary of the nature of the pending environmental impact statement and;

(4) Shall include information on all State and County environmental impact statements.

SECTION 3. 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 purpose of establishing and maintaining the Environmental Impact Statement Information Hub.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the office of environmental quality control for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Office of Environmental Quality Control; Public Records; Environmental Assessments; Environmental Impact Statements

 

 

Description:

Establishes 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. Appropriates funds.

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.