STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1308

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 1511

H.D. 1

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Water and Land and Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 1511, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO WATER RESOURCES,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds as a grant-in-aid to the Honolulu Board of Water Supply to plan, design, and construct seven monitoring wells and an exploratory well.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Honolulu Board of Water Supply, Ulupono Initiative, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and Sierra Club of Hawaii. Your Committees received comments on this measure from one individual.

 

Your Committees find that the 2021 Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility fuel leak caused an unprecedented contamination of Oahu's drinking water supply, which affected nearly 100,000 residents. However, your Committees also find that this disastrous and catastrophic leak was just one such incident in a long history of repeated fuel leaks and chemical spills in the Red Hill area caused by the United States Department of Defense. Your Committees further find that despite this history of fuel leaks, the United States Department of Defense has not established an adequate monitoring well network capable of identifying whether leaked fuel has migrated to other critical water sources, such as the water wells in Aiea and Halawa. Your Committees believe that the federal government has thus far neglected its responsibility and that the State must now step in and fulfill its obligation to protect the public. Therefore, this measure appropriates funds to the Honolulu Board of Water Supply to increase its ability to detect water supply contamination and monitor the condition of Oahu's groundwater aquifer, independently of the United States Department of Defense, and to evaluate the impacts on Oahu's precious and finite water supply.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Requiring the Honolulu Board of Water Supply to consult with the Department of Health and the Commission on Water Resource Management prior to siting and installing the proposed monitoring wells;

 

(2) Amending section 1 to reflect its amended purpose; and

 

(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Water and Land and Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1511, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1511, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Water and Land and Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs,

 

________________________________

GLENN WAKAI, Chair

 

________________________________

LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair