Stand. Comm. Rep. No 903-12 HB 2613 relating to transportation – exemption The purpose of the bill is to exempt the DOT Harbors Division from the permit and site plan approvals requirements relating to submerged lands within the conservation district under HRS chapter 183C (regarding conservation districts). Lands within the state land use conservation district contain important natural resources essential to the preservation of the State’s fragile natural ecosystems and the sustainability of the State’s water supply.
The current (HD1) draft adds a new section to HRS chapter 266 that states in full:
• “Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all work involving submerged lands used for state commercial harbor purposes shall be exempt from any permitting and site plan approval requirements established for lands in a conservation district.” (Emphasis added.)
The bill may give DOT Harbors too much discretion. The justification sheet states that the DOT Harbors will still be subject to federal oversight by federal agencies , and still be subject to oversight by the State DOH for federal programs such as the Clean Water Act, and still be subject HRS Chapter 343 (Environmental Impact Statements). However, given the language of the bill, the new law will trump all other State and county laws with regard to permitting and site plan approval requirements. OHA noted that HRS Chapter 343’s Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement requirements only require disclosure of the effects of a proposed action. They do not result in approval or denial of a project.

Contact: repriviere@capitol.hawaii.gov

Excerpt from Capitol TV