HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

62

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

REquesting the Department of Land and Natural Resources, in consultation with the Board of Land and Natural Resources, to develop a plan to reduce the disposition of public lands for military training and exercise and remediate and restore public lands that have been damaged by military activities.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, article XI, section 1, of the Hawaii State Constitution provides that "for the benefit of present and future generations, the State and its political subdivisions shall conserve and protect Hawaii's natural beauty and all natural resources, including land, water, air, minerals and energy sources, and shall promote the development and utilization of these resources in a manner consistent with their conservation and in furtherance of the self-sufficiency of the State. All public natural resources are held in trust by the State for the benefit of the people."; and

 

WHEREAS, the Legislature believes that public lands should be managed in the spirit of mālama āina, which calls for us to care for the environment that sustains us and of which we are also a part; and

 

WHEREAS, the military's use of public lands has been inconsistent with the principle of mālama āina; and

 

WHEREAS, the legacy of the military's use of Kahoolawe, Mākua, Pōhakuloa, and Waikāne are well-known and tragic; and

 

WHEREAS, the Navy failed to clear all unexploded ordnance from Kahoolawe; and

WHEREAS, a federal court concluded that the Army "failed to use good faith efforts to develop a plan and secure funding for clearing unexploded ordnance from the high priority sites that the Army was supposed to identify" in Mākua pursuant to a settlement agreement; and

 

WHEREAS, portions of state land at Pōhakuloa are, according to a state circuit court, heavily contaminated with material that presents an explosive hazard and significant danger to public health and welfare, with the court holding in part that, "The State of Hawaii is the trustee of these public lands in the public trust. The trustee of the public lands trust has the highest duty to preserve and maintain the trust lands. This duty is broadly coined in the concept of mālama āina to care for the land."; and

 

WHEREAS, there are four sixty-five year leases to public lands given to the military at Mākua, Kahuku, Poamoho, and Pōhakuloa that are set to expire in 2029; and

 

WHEREAS, it is necessary to evaluate the impact of the military's presence in Hawaii and develop a plan for remediating and restoring public lands that have been damaged by military activities; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Land and Natural Resources, in consultation with the Board of Land and Natural Resources, is requested to develop a plan to reduce the disposition of public lands for military training and exercise and remediate and restore public lands that have been damaged by military activities; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is requested to convene an advisory committee to make recommendations to the Department regarding development of the plan; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources is requested to appoint members of the advisory committee and include experts or community stakeholders with extensive experience in:

 

(1) Environmental conservation;

 

(2) Land remediation and restoration;

 

(3) Native Hawaiian customary rights;

 

(4) The economic impact of the military's presence in the State; and

 

(5) Other stakeholders deemed appropriate by the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is requested to submit an interim report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the interim report is requested to include:

 

(1) A progress update regarding the development of the plan and selection of members of the advisory committee;

 

(2) Interim findings and recommendations of the advisory committee; and

 

(3) A timeline for completion of the plan; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is requested to submit a final report containing the plan to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the Regular Session of 2023; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor and Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

DLNR; BLNR; Disposition of Public Lands; Military Activities