STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1238
RE: H.B. No. 197
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 197, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(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 systems and air conditioning systems 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;
(3) Specify that no law, rule, ordinance, or code, including the State Building Code, shall prohibit or limit the use of a refrigerant deemed acceptable under federal law; and
(4) Appropriate funds.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health; Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission; Hawai‘i Environmental Change Agents' Decarbonization of Buildings Task Force; Kauai Climate Action Coalition; Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, Climate Protectors Hawai‘i; and ten individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Building Industry Association of Hawaii and one individual.
Your Committee finds that hydrofluorocarbons are chemicals commonly used in air conditioning, refrigeration, and insulating foam and as propellants. Some types of hydrofluorocarbons are potent greenhouse gases with very high global warming potentials contributing to climate change. If hydrofluorocarbons continue to be used, it is estimated that they could account for up to twenty percent of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This measure will establish a Refrigerant Management Program, which will help prevent the emission of high global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons into the atmosphere.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 197, H.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair