STAND. COM. REP. NO. 56
RE: H.B. No. 197
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection, to which was referred H.B. No. 197 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Require the Department of Health to establish a Refrigerant Management Program to reduce emissions of high global warming potential refrigerants and any refrigerant that is an ozone depleting substance from stationary, commercial, and industrial refrigeration equipment and adopt rules for the regulation of the use of such refrigerants;
(2) Require the State Building Code Council to establish codes and standards consistent with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with hydrofluorocarbons when updating the state building code; and
(3) Appropriate funds for the Refrigerant Management Program.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, Kaua‘i Climate Action Coalition, Climate Protectors Hawai‘i, Hawaii Environmental Change Agents' Decarbonization of Buildings Task Force, 350Hawaii.org, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and seven individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii State Energy Office.
Your Committee finds that hydrofluorocarbons are chemicals commonly used in air conditioning, refrigeration, and insulating foam and as propellants. Although hydrofluorocarbons were designed to replace ozone depleting substances, they are now quickly building up in Earth's atmosphere, where they act as greenhouse gases that can have very high global warming potentials. Your Committee further finds that similar to California's implementation of a successful refrigerant management program to monitor and reduce emissions of refrigerants with high global warming potential and ozone depleting substances, a similar state refrigerant management program in Hawaii would support state greenhouse gas reduction goals and prevent leakage of these harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Aligning certain terms with terms defined in this measure;
(2) Inserting language that specifies that no law, rule, ordinance, or code, including the state building code, shall prohibit or limit the use of a refrigerant that is designated as acceptable for use under federal law;
(3) Changing the effective date to July 1, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 197, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 197, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection,
NICOLE E. LOWEN, Chair