Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2023


RE: S.B. No. 285

S.D. 2

H.D. 2





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce, to which was referred S.B. No. 285, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose of this measure is to:


(1) Establish within the Department of Health's Wastewater Branch a Cesspool Conversion Section dedicated to facilitating the conversion of cesspools within the State, including the establishment and funding of positions; and


(2) Establish and appropriate funds for a three-year New Wastewater System Demonstration Pilot Program within the University of Hawaii's Waste Resources Research Center.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; Department of Health; University of Hawaii Water Resources Research Center; University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program; Hawaii Association of REALTORS; Coral Reef Alliance; Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition; Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Surfrider Foundation, Hawaii Region; Ulupono Initiative; WAI: Wastewater Alternatives & Innovations; and five individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.


Your Committee finds that cesspools are a major source of pollution to Hawaii's waters. Cesspools discharge untreated sewage, which may reach the groundwater and flow into drinking water sources, streams, and the ocean. Since a significant portion of drinking water in the State comes from groundwater sources, these discharges pose a serious risk of harm to public health and the environment.


Your Committee further finds that the Legislature, through Act 125, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017, mandated the upgrade or conversion of all cesspools in the State to certain wastewater management systems or connection to a sewerage system by 2050. To accomplish this mandate, further support is necessary to facilitate the transition of cesspools to approved wastewater systems or connection to municipal sewer systems. This measure establishes a dedicated unit in the Department of Health to provide this essential support.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Appropriating funds out of general funds, rather than the Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, for three specific positions within the Cesspool Conversion Section; and


(2) 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 Consumer Protection & Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 285, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 285, S.D. 2, H.D. 2.




Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce,