Gov. Green enacts laws to protect beaches, shorelines and public land
Governor Josh Green, M.D., signed three bills into law at a signing ceremony at the Makapu‘u lookout in Waimānalo along with 14 bills signed earlier that seek to support the protection of Hawaiʻi’s beaches, shorelines and public lands.
“Hawaiʻi is known worldwide for its pristine coastline and beaches, clean air, and blue skies,” said Gov. Green in a news release. “It’s our responsibility to take care of such valuable resources to preserve our natural environment so it will be available for future generations to experience and enjoy.”
“We also have two million acres of land zoned for conservation in Hawaiʻi that we must serve as excellent stewards of, by putting in place measures to help combat erosion, support climate change mitigation, and give our departments the tools they need to do their jobs in protecting the environment,” Gov. Green said. “These bills are a good start in the right direction.”
The three bills signed on-site included:
SB1254 SD2 HD2 CD1, (Act 235) Relating to the Kaiwi Coast
Kaiwi Coast State Park: Requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources to petition the Board of Land and Natural Resources to designate certain lands as the “Kaiwi Coast State Park.” Establishes certain conditions for the Kaiwi Coast State Park. (CD1)
SB1391 SD1 HD2 CD2, (Act 236) Relating to Administrative Penalties on Public Lands
Administrative Penalties for encroachment on public lands (e.g., North Shore homes on shoreline): Authorizes the Board of Land and Natural Resources to place a lien on property for noncompliance with certain administrative enforcement actions related to land use violations and certain unauthorized structures encroaching on public lands. (CD1)
HB1200 HD1 SD2 CD1, (Act 237) Relating to the Conservation and Resources Enforcement Program
Drones for DOCARE enforcement: Requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources to establish an unmanned aircraft (drone) systems program. Authorizes Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers to use unmanned aircraft systems. Requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources to submit an annual report of the effectiveness of the unmanned aircraft systems program to the Legislature. Appropriates funds. (CD1)
Senator Brandon Elefante, chair of the Committee on Water and Land expressed gratitude to Governor Green for signing bills to preserve and protect shoreline areas and for the enhanced enforcement tools for state agencies.
“This is a culmination of hard work, collaboration, and dedication from my Senate and House colleagues—especially from the Chair of Water and Land Committee, Senator Lorraine Inouye and committee members, as well as the key introducers of these bills, to promote and fortify the missions of our various agencies. With these new laws, we continue to position our state to be more efficient with enforcement and continue to protect our precious resources,” said Sen. Elefante, (District 16 ‘Aiea, ‘Aiea Heights, Hālawa, Pearlridge, Newtown, Royal Summit, Waimalu, Waiau, Momilani, Pacific Palisades, and Pearl City).
“Gathering on the Kaiwi coast to celebrate conservation measures such as SB1254 is good for building community morale,” said Elizabeth Reilly of the Livable Hawaii Kai Hui and the Kaiwi Coalition. “It is also an opportunity to reaffirm our support for keeping Kaiwi, mauka to makai, in its wild and natural state which is essential for our daily health and for future generations.”
Representative Linda Ichiyama highlighted the bill designating the official state limu.
“I am so proud of the work we were able to accomplish together, with DLNR, and community advocates,” said Rep. Ichiyama, chair of the House Committee on Water and Land. “We are committed to being good stewards of the land and taking care of the resources that have been entrusted to us. HB819 designates limu kala as the official state limu. It is used in Native Hawaiian traditions in healing and hoʻoponopono. Through this significant designation, we recognize the value of limu as a resource in Hawaiʻi and highlight its importance to our nearshore environment and the entire ecosystem,” Rep. Ichiyama said.
Other bills also signed earlier, but not a part of the signing ceremony include:
SB67 SD1 HD2 CD1, (Act 227) Relating to Commercial Activities on Beaches
Prohibited commercial activities on beaches: Prohibits commercial vendors from presetting commercial beach equipment on certain beaches under the jurisdiction of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, unless the customer is physically present. Requires commercial vendors to expeditiously remove commercial beach equipment after the customer has finished using it. Allows the Department of Land and Natural Resources to grant exemptions through rules. Establishes administrative fines for violations. (CD1)
HB364 SD1, (Act 228) Relating to Public lands Trespass
Clarifies that when trespass involves public land, all state and county law enforcement officers may enforce trespass laws, without regard to whether the land is owned by the State or by a county. (SD1)
HB365 HD1 SD2, (Act 229) Relating to Special Management Areas
Redefines “development” under SMA permits to exclude low impact activities like some agricultural use, invasive species protection and fencing, bikeways, etc.): Expands exclusions from the definition of “development” as it applies to special management areas to reduce the need for special management area permits for certain activities. (SD2)
HB819 HD2 SD1, (Act 230) Relating to Limu Kala
Official state limu: Designates limu kala (Sargassum echinocarpum) as the official Hawaiʻi state limu. (SD1)
HB1091 HD2 SD2 CD1, (Act 231) Relating to Real Property Disclosures Within Shoreline Areas
Seller disclosures for shoreline homes and erosion: Requires disclosure of all existing permitted and unpermitted erosion control structures on the parcel in real estate transactions when residential real property lies adjacent to the shoreline. Effective 11/1/2023. (CD1)
HB1134 HD2 SD1 CD1, (Act 232) Relating to Kāne‘ohe Bay
Kāneʻohe Bay use regulations: Prohibits commercial ocean use activity in Kāneʻohe Bay waters without a permit. Prohibits any person from advertising any commercial ocean use activity or equipment for such activity in Kāneʻohe Bay waters for which the person does not have a permit. Establishes enforcement mechanisms for the prohibitions. (CD1)
HB1079 HD2 SD2 CD1, (Act 233) Relating to Water Pollution Control
Water pollution and water quality: Revises chapter 342D, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, to add definitions that are consistent with federal Clean Water Act regulations. Clarifies the Director of Health’s role as a certifying agency, including enforcement of water quality certifications, and increases certain statutory civil penalties. (CD1)
HB1101 HD1 SD1 CD1, (Act 234) Relating to Stormwater User Fees and Fines
Establishes a fee cap amount for county stormwater user fees that may be charged against or collected from the Department of Transportation of $1,500,000 in the aggregate per year. Prohibits any county from denying services to the Department of Transportation by reason of nonpayment of user fees. (CD1)