THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the search for a new landfill for the city and county of Honolulu cannot be prioritized over the protection of Oahu's freshwater aquifers. In 2021, approximately twenty thousand gallons of jet fuel leaked from the Red Hill bulk fuel storage facility and contaminated the Pearl Harbor-Hickam water system that serves ninety-three thousand military and civilian customers. The leak also affected the Honolulu board of water supply, and the city and county of Honolulu has shut down three wells, which supply fourteen million gallons of water a day to urban Honolulu. Today, the Honolulu board of water supply is in search of new wells that can supply urban Honolulu, which may not be ready until 2025. To protect and preserve fresh water, a new landfill must not be built over a freshwater aquifer.
The legislature further finds that the city and county of Honolulu is required to relocate the Waimanalo gulch sanitary landfill by 2028. The city and county of Honolulu's department of environmental services proposed six sites to relocate the landfill, and all sites were rejected by the landfill advisory committee because there were concerns that locating a landfill above freshwater aquifers can damage the State's water sources. Act 73, Session Laws of Hawaii 2020 (Act 73), prohibited waste or disposal facilities from being in a conservation district, except in emergency circumstances to mitigate significant risks to public health and safety. Furthermore, Act 73 requires that there be a one-half mile buffer zone around residences, schools, and hospitals for the construction, modification, or expansion of waste or disposal facility.
The purpose of this Act is to prohibit the construction, modification, or expansion of any waste or disposal facility for hazardous waste or solid waste on land that is near or above a significant aquifer.
SECTION 2. Section 342H-52, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§342H-52 Prohibitions; buffer zones. (a) No person, including any federal agency, the State, or any county, shall construct, operate, modify, expand, or close a municipal solid waste landfill unit, or any component of a municipal solid waste landfill unit, without first obtaining a permit from the director. All permits for municipal solid waste landfill units shall be subject to any terms and conditions that the director determines are necessary to protect human health or the environment.
(b) No person, including the State or a county, shall construct, modify, or expand a waste or disposal facility, including:
(1) A municipal solid waste landfill unit;
(2) Any component of a municipal solid waste landfill unit;
(3) A construction and demolition unit; or
(4) Any component of a construction and demolition landfill unit,
for solid waste or hazardous waste on land that is near or above a significant aquifer, as determined by the department in consultation with the commission on water resource management.
For the purposes of this subsection, "hazardous waste" shall have the same meaning as in section 342J-2.
(c) No person, including the
State or any county, shall construct, modify, or expand a waste or disposal
facility including a municipal solid waste landfill unit, any component of a
municipal solid waste landfill unit, a construction and
demolition landfill unit, or any component of a construction and demolition
landfill unit without first establishing a buffer zone of no less than one-half
mile around the waste or disposal facility.
This subsection shall not apply to the continued
operation of an existing waste or disposal facility that is properly permitted;
provided that continued operation does not require physical expansion, vertical
or horizontal, of the facility requiring additional permitting review and a
For the purposes of this subsection:
"Buffer zone" means the distance between the edge of waste or waste activity and the nearest residential, school, or hospital property line.
"Waste or disposal facility" excludes individual, state certified, non-industrial redemption centers."
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on June 30, 3000.
Waste or Disposal Facilities; Landfills; Solid Waste; Hazardous Waste; Aquifers; Prohibition
Prohibits the construction, modification, or expansion of any waste or disposal facility for hazardous waste or solid waste on land that is near or above a significant aquifer as determined by the Department of Health in consultation with the Commission on Water Resource Management. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.