Monday, January 11, 2010

Joint Legislative Committee Will Consider Changes to Hawaii's EIS Law

Hawaii's Senate Committee on Energy and Environment and the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection are holding an informational briefing to consider proposed revisions to Hawaii's environmental laws.

The meeting will be held on Friday, January 15, 2010, starting at 1:00 p.m. in Conference Room 329 at the State Capitol. The agenda is posted here.

The recommendations are based on a recent report prepared by the University of Hawaii in accordance with Act 1 (2008). Pursuant to Act 1, the purpose of the report is to:
  1. Examine the effectiveness of the current environmental review system created by chapters 341, 343, and 344, Hawaii Revised Statutes;
  2. Assess the unique environmental, economic, social, and cultural issues in Hawaii that should be incorporated into an environmental review system;
  3. Address larger concerns and interests related to sustainable development, global environmental change, and disaster-risk reduction; and
  4. Develop a strategy, including legislative recommendations, for modernizing Hawaii's environmental review system so that it meets international and national best-practices standards.
The final report has not been made publicly available; however, a draft entitled, "UH EIS Study Draft Recommendations," is available here. [UPDATE: See Final Report to the Legislature on Hawaii's EIS Law.]

In addition, Dr. Gail Grabowsky, chairperson of the Environmental Council, will report on the state of the Environmental Council, which has been in a state of disarray.

To keep up with legislative happenings related to environmental and land use laws, see Legislative Updates. For more on environmental issues, see Environmental Law.

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