THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

513

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to FISHPONDS.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Historically, government-owned fishponds were subjected to an extensive permitting process that required large amounts of resources and time to secure. To resolve this problem, in 2015, the department of land and natural resources' office of conservation and coastal lands and other collaborators, including Conservation International Hawaii and Honua Consulting, developed a master permit for traditional Hawaiian fishponds that encompassed the main permits required at that time. The programmatic general permit helped streamline the process for the repair, restoration, maintenance, and operation of traditional Hawaiian fishponds, or loko ia.

Although great progress has been made to streamline the permitting process for fishponds in the State, the leasing process remains complex, confusing, and difficult to navigate.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to require the board of land and natural resources to create a standard lease application and programmatic environmental impact statement to further streamline the process for leasing government-owned Hawaiian fishponds.

SECTION 2. Section 171-28, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"171-28 Government-owned Hawaiian fishponds; sale prohibition. (a) The board may investigate and develop scientific commercial management practices for government-owned Hawaiian fishponds and reconstruct, rehabilitate, improve, and stock the fishponds; and expend moneys from the special land and development fund. All revenues derived from any government-owned Hawaiian fishpond shall be deposited in the fund.

(b) The board may lease government-owned Hawaiian fishponds with legislative authorization as provided under section 171-53(c); provided that in lieu of legislative authorization, the board may lease such fishponds if:

(1) A public hearing is conducted on the proposed lease on the island where the fishpond is located;

(2) The board finds that the proposed lease does not cause a substantial adverse environmental or ecological impact on the fishpond or surrounding area; and

(3) The proposed lease is not in violation of applicable federal, state, or county laws.

(c) The board shall implement a standard lease application and programmatic environmental impact statement to streamline the process of leasing government-owned Hawaiian fishponds.

[(c)] (d) Any law to the contrary notwithstanding, the board may not sell the fee interest in public lands on which government-owned Hawaiian fishponds are located."

SECTION 3. (a) The board of land and natural resources shall create a standard lease application and programmatic environmental impact statement to streamline the process for leasing government-owned Hawaiian fishponds.

(b) The board shall:

(1) Create a standard lease application that complies with relevant state and federal requirements;

(2) Create a programmatic environmental impact statement for leasing government-owned fishponds;

(3) Study the feasibility of either establishing a full-time permanent staff position to assist lease applicants in navigating the process or contracting with an entity that can provide similar assistance; and

(4) Establish a statewide inventory or database of loko ia and a mechanism to make that information available to the public.

(c) The board of land and natural resources shall consult with industry stakeholders and other Native Hawaiian organizations, who are encouraged to cooperate and provide information or input.

(d) The board of land and natural resources may request assistance and feedback from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, the department of land and natural resources and department of the attorney general, and any other department that the board deems appropriate, to provide expertise in establishing the standard lease application and programmatic environmental impact statement.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 to create a standard lease application and programmatic environmental impact statement to streamline the process of leasing government-owned Hawaiian fishponds.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2023; provided that section 2 of this Act shall take effect on July 1, 2024.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Loko Ia; Traditional Hawaiian Fishponds; Board of Land and Natural Resources; Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires the Board of Land and Natural Resources to create a standard lease application and programmatic environmental impact statement to streamline the process for leasing government-owned Hawaiian fishponds. Appropriates funds.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.