HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to water circulation.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State's beaches are important to the environmental, economic, and cultural well-being of our State and its residents. The State's beaches are internationally admired for their crystal blue waters and white sands.
The legislature further finds that to maintain the State's beaches' status as a popular destination for tourists and residents to partake in recreational activities, the State's beaches should be monitored to ensure the health and safety of persons that use the beaches. Pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act, as amended by the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000, the department of health monitors and tests for fecal indicator bacteria; specifically, the department tests for Enterococcus and Clostridium perfringens. The department also prioritizes the beaches and the frequency with which they are tested depending on the usage by persons and the likely threat by some type of pollution.
The legislature also finds that the State has the highest level of community acquired staph infections in the country. The bacteria most associated with staph infections, Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, are known to be present in the waters and sands of the State's beaches.
The purpose of this Act is to better protect the health and safety of persons enjoying the State's beaches by requiring the department of health to conduct a two-year pilot project to test for the bacteria that causes staph infections not less than monthly.
(a) The department of health shall establish a Staph
testing pilot project to test all Tier 1 beaches in the State for the bacteria Staphylococcus
aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus not less than
department of health shall conduct tests of the waters and the sand. The department of health shall follow the same
procedures and actions under the routine monitoring program in response to exceedances
of recreational water quality standards if the tests conducted pursuant to this
pilot project necessitate such procedures and actions, including the issuance of
advisories, follow-up sampling, and communicating with risk communication partners
to inform the public of the risks. The department
of health shall ensure that signs are posted, either by the department or through
a risk communication partner, to communicate the risks when test results necessitate
(c) The department of health shall submit a report of its findings, including but not limited to:
(1) The schedule of testing, including which beaches were tested and the days on which they were tested;
(2) Whether the results necessitated response actions; and
(3) The response actions taken,
and recommendations--including whether testing should continue, based on the findings, beyond the two-year period and any proposed legislation--to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular sessions of 2022, 2023, and 2024.
(d) The pilot project shall cease on June 30, 2023.
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 to establish and operate the two-year pilot project required by this Act.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.
Pilot Project; Tier 1 Beaches; DOH; Staphylococcus Aureus; Testing
Requires the department of health to establish a two-year pilot project to test Tier 1 beaches for Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus not less than monthly. Requires a report to the legislature before the regular sessions of 2022, 2023, and 2024.
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.