The 2015 session of the Hawai‘i Legislature and the City and County of Honolulu County Council have been considering several bills of interest to the Association, several of which are directly aligned with the issues we discussed at the Beach Restoration Workshop in November 2014. Consistent with HSBPA’s Chapter by-laws, the Association has submitted technical testimony in favor of the following bills, which had hearings over the last couple of weeks. For information on each bill, please click on the hyperlink. This will give you information on the bills contents as well as the current status of the bill. Copies of HSBPA’s testimonies are available for download at the bottom of this page.
SB 204 Beach Management Plan for North Shore, O‘ahu
SB 204 appropriates funds to the University of Hawaii sea grant college program to create a north shore beach management plan for the north shore of Oahu stretching from the Kawailoa to Waiale‘e ahupua‘a. Requires matching funds. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2)
SB 538 and HB 872 Sand Not a Pollutant
SB 538 clarifies that naturally-occurring beach sand shall not be considered a water pollutant when used on the same beach for the purpose of beach erosion mitigation, sediment management, beach restoration, or dune restoration. HB 872 provides that naturally occurring beach sand shall not be considered a water pollutant if used for beach erosion mitigation and certain related purposes. Effective 01/01/2050. (HD1)]
SB 617 and HB 444 Beach Conservation Plans and the Beach Fund and Transient Accommodation Tax
SB 617 incorporates beach land conservation under the general powers of the board of land and natural resources. Expands the department of land and natural resources’ beach restoration plans to include beach conservation plans. Requires beach restoration plans to include, where appropriate, county participation and the formation of private-public partnerships. Allows the department of land and natural resources to include studies about the effect of sea level rise and other coastal engineering studies when developing beach conservation plans that involve more than the nourishment of beaches with sand. Renames the “beach restoration special fund” as the “beach restoration and conservation special fund”. Permits proceeds from the lease of public lands for an existing shoreline structure, matching funds to carry out a beach restoration and conservation plans, from private individuals or organizations, and transient accommodations tax revenues to be deposited into the beach restoration and conservation special fund. Allows moneys from the beach restoration and conservation special fund to be used for conservation projects and all things necessary, useful, and convenient in connection with the restoration and conservation of beach lands. Allocates $3,000,000 of transient accommodations tax revenues to the special land and development fund to be expended in accordance with the long-range strategic plan for tourism. Allocates an annual amount of $3,000,000 of transient accommodations tax revenues to the beach restoration and conservation special fund and requires the fund to maintain a balance of $7,000,000 once that balance is achieved. HB 444 expands the scope of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Beach Restoration Plans and Beach Restoration Special Fund to include beach conservation. Allocates funds from the Transient Accommodations Tax for beach restoration and conservation. (HB444 HD3)
City and County Bill 81 Relating to special improvement districts
The Council finds that special improvement districts have been beneficially established for Waikiki and Fort Street Mall to provide a higher level of maintenance and security services over the areas open to the public than would otherwise be available. The Council finds that such a district may also be beneficially established to improve, restore, and protect the shoreline areas. The purpose of this ordinance is to allow shoreline improvement, restoration, and protection projects to be provided and financed by a special improvement district.
City and County Bill 82 Relating to the establishment of the Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District
The purpose of this ordinance is to establish a Waikiki Beach special improvement district to provide for and finance supplemental services and improvements in and to Waikiki Beach as authorized by Chapter 36, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu 1990 (ROH).
SB 540 Timeframe for Clean Water Act (CWA) 401 Water Quality Certifications
SB 540 specifies the time limits by which the department of health must approve or disapprove submissions of section 401 water quality certification applications or the applications will be automatically approved. Currently, this bill has not been scheduled for hearing. We are continuing to track this bill and plan to submit testimony in favor if and when a hearing is scheduled.
HSBPA is hopeful that this legislative session proves fruitful for policies that support the preservation and restoration of Hawai‘i’s beaches. We will continue to provide updates as important information becomes available. In the meantime, you can track all State legislation through the following website: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/. We also encourage you to submit your own testimony on bills that affect your interests.
If you have feedback or would like to participate on the legislative committee, please contact Chair Brad Romine (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Co-Chair Ruby Pap (email@example.com)