HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to agriculture.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that supporting local food production is a high priority for Hawaii and much of that food production comes from small farmers. Land and water costs are high in Hawaii and enabling farmers to live on the land at minimal expense is essential.
On Hawaii island, most farms are not supplied with county water, so the efficient use of water is of paramount importance, as the water for the farm comes from rainfall. Water for household use is provided by collecting the rain off the roofs of the farm buildings and storing that water in tanks in the case of potable water, or ponds for irrigation and stock water. Allowing farmers to use gray water systems that recycle uncontaminated water will enable them to waste less water.
According to the "Guidelines for the Reuse of Gray Water" prepared by the department of health, "gray water from sinks, tub/shower drains, and clothes washers are estimated to be 50-80 percent of the total residential wastewater generated. This wastewater stream may be reused to meet part of the fresh water demand for landscaping . . . Although this wastewater stream contains detergents, soaps, and solvents, some of the constituents of these cleaning agents are considered fertilizer for plants. Phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium are some of the compounds found in gray water that many plants need to survive. Generally, most of the gray water and the nutrients in it will be used by plants, and the dynamics of the soil will break down the other contaminants." This guide continues by listing several ornamental plants such as heliconia and ti, crop plants such as banana and coconut, and native Hawaiian plants that would benefit from the use of gray water.
Therefore, the legislature finds that allowing gray water systems on agricultural land on Hawaii island will provide farmers with an inexpensive and efficient source of water and nutrients.
SECTION 2. Section 205-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:
"(d) Agricultural districts shall include:
(1) Activities or uses as characterized by the cultivation of crops, crops for bioenergy, orchards, forage, and forestry;
(2) Farming activities or uses related to animal husbandry and game and fish propagation;
(3) Aquaculture, which means the production of aquatic plant and animal life within ponds and other bodies of water;
(4) Wind generated energy production for public, private, and commercial use;
(5) Biofuel production, as described in section 205‑4.5(a)(16), for public, private, and commercial use;
(6) Solar energy facilities; provided that:
(A) This paragraph shall apply only to land with soil classified by the land study bureau's detailed land classification as overall (master) productivity rating class B, C, D, or E; and
(B) Solar energy facilities placed within land with soil classified as overall productivity rating class B or C shall not occupy more than ten per cent of the acreage of the parcel, or twenty acres of land, whichever is lesser, unless a special use permit is granted pursuant to section 205-6;
(7) Bona fide agricultural services and uses that support the agricultural activities of the fee or leasehold owner of the property and accessory to any of the above activities, regardless of whether conducted on the same premises as the agricultural activities to which they are accessory, including farm dwellings as defined in section 205-4.5(a)(4), employee housing, farm buildings, mills, storage facilities, processing facilities, photovoltaic, biogas, and other small-scale renewable energy systems producing energy solely for use in the agricultural activities of the fee or leasehold owner of the property, agricultural-energy facilities as defined in section 205-4.5(a)(17), vehicle and equipment storage areas, and plantation community subdivisions as defined in section 205‑4.5(a)(12);
(8) Wind machines and wind farms;
(9) Small-scale meteorological, air quality, noise, and other scientific and environmental data collection and monitoring facilities occupying less than one-half acre of land; provided that these facilities shall not be used as or equipped for use as living quarters or dwellings;
(10) Agricultural parks;
(11) Agricultural tourism conducted on a working farm, or a farming operation as defined in section 165-2, for the enjoyment, education, or involvement of visitors; provided that the agricultural tourism activity is accessory and secondary to the principal agricultural use and does not interfere with surrounding farm operations; and provided further that this paragraph shall apply only to a county that has adopted ordinances regulating agricultural tourism under section 205-5;
(12) Agricultural tourism activities, including overnight accommodations of twenty-one days or less, for any one stay within a county; provided that this paragraph shall apply only to a county that includes at least three islands and has adopted ordinances regulating agricultural tourism activities pursuant to section 205-5; provided further that the agricultural tourism activities coexist with a bona fide agricultural activity. For the purposes of this paragraph, "bona fide agricultural activity" means a farming operation as defined in section 165-2;
(13) Open area recreational facilities;
(14) Geothermal resources exploration and geothermal resources development, as defined under section 182-1;
(15) Agricultural-based commercial operations, including:
(A) A roadside stand that is not an enclosed structure, owned and operated by a producer for the display and sale of agricultural products grown in Hawaii and value-added products that were produced using agricultural products grown in Hawaii;
(B) Retail activities in an enclosed structure owned and operated by a producer for the display and sale of agricultural products grown in Hawaii, value-added products that were produced using agricultural products grown in Hawaii, logo items related to the producer's agricultural operations, and other food items; and
(C) A retail food establishment owned and operated by a producer and permitted under title 11, chapter 12 of the rules of the department of health that prepares and serves food at retail using products grown in Hawaii and value-added products that were produced using agricultural products grown in Hawaii.
The owner of an agricultural-based commercial
operation shall certify, upon request of an officer or agent charged with
enforcement of this chapter under section 205-12, that the agricultural
products displayed or sold by the operation meet the requirements of this
(16) Hydroelectric facilities as described in section
(17) Gray water facilities; provided that:
(A) This paragraph shall apply only to an island greater than four thousand square miles in size and on land with soil classified by the land study bureau's detailed land classification as overall (master) productivity rating class C, D, or E; and
(B) As used in this paragraph, "gray water" means any untreated wastewater that has not come into contact with toilet waste. "Gray water" includes used water from bathtubs, showers, and bathroom wash basins and water from clothes washers and laundry tubs. "Gray water" excludes water that is contaminated with any household hazardous waste as defined in section 342G-1 or hazardous waste as defined in section 342J-2. "Gray water" also excludes wastewater from food preparation sinks or dishwashers.
Agricultural districts shall not include golf courses and golf driving ranges, except as provided in section 205-4.5(d). Agricultural districts include areas that are not used for, or that are not suited to, agricultural and ancillary activities by reason of topography, soils, and other related characteristics."
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Gray water; Agriculture
Allows gray water systems to be placed on agricultural lands to help farmers use water and gray water nutrients more efficiently. (HB777 HD1 PROPOSED)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.