STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1322
RE: S.B. No. 285
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water & Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 285, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO WASTEWATER SYSTEMS,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to:
(1) Establish and appropriate funds to implement a three‑year new wastewater system demonstration pilot program within the University of Hawaii Water Resources Research Center to review, examine, and demonstrate new wastewater technology systems; implement those technologies in wastewater system demonstration projects; and establish a ranking system similar to the Hawaii cesspool prioritization tool for the islands of Molokai, Lanai, and Niihau; and
(2) Appropriate funds for two full-time equivalent (2.0 FTE) positions within the Department of Health's Wastewater Branch.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, University of Hawai‘i Water Resources Research Center and Sea Grant College Program, Hawai‘i Association of REALTORS, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Reef and Ocean Coalition, Public Access to SunScreens, Ulupono Initiative, Coral Reef Alliance, WAI: Wastewater Alternatives & Innovations, and two individuals.
Your Committees find that cesspool pollution poses a significant danger to the State's ground water, streams, drinking water, and coastal ecosystems. Your Committees further find that to address cesspool pollution, the State established a requirement that all cesspools in the State be upgraded, converted, or connected by 2050. This measure encourages the review and implementation of new and innovative technologies in wastewater management that could be critical for diverting sewage at scale.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting language that creates a new Cesspool Conversion Section within the Department of Health's Wastewater Branch that is dedicated to facilitating the conversion of cesspools within the State;
(2) Inserting language that establishes and appropriates funds for three full-time equivalent (3.0 FTE) permanent positions within the Cesspool Conversion Section for fiscal years 2023-2024 and 2024-2025;
(3) Inserting language that establishes and appropriates funds for three additional full-time equivalent (3.0 FTE) permanent positions within the Cesspool Conversion Section for fiscal year 2024-2025;
(4) Deleting language that would have appropriated funds for two full-time equivalent (2.0 FTE) positions for the Department of Health's Wastewater Branch;
(5) Changing the effective date to June 30, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and
(6) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water & Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 285, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 285, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water & Land,
LINDA ICHIYAMA, Chair
NICOLE E. LOWEN, Chair