Hawaiʻi passes bill to be carbon neutral by 2045

Capturing carbon to benefit Hawaiʻi’s economy and environment

Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi staff and volunteers join state lawmakers, business leaders, farmers, and community advocates to support new commitment to make Hawaiʻi carbon neutral by 2045. Photo Credit: Sierra Club


In Honolulu today lawmakers, business innovators, and community advocates celebrated the passage of H.B. 2182, which sets the goal of “sequestering more atmospheric carbon and greenhouse gases than the State produces as quickly as practicable, but no later than 2045.”

“We are excited for the passage of this bill because it demonstrates that combating climate change and protecting Hawaiʻi’s environment promotes Hawaiʻi’s economy and protects Hawaiʻi’s taxpayers,” said Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi.  

For Hawaiʻi, the ravages of climate change are not theoretical or distant. Right now, families on the north shore of Kauaʻi are rebuilding their communities after historical flooding washed away homes and severed the only road to the rest of the island. A recent state study estimates that sea level rise will cause $19 billion dollars in damage to private property in Hawaiʻi. While this number is astronomical, it is merely a beginning estimate, for it only counts the loss to private businesses and personal property, not critical public infrastructure like roads, schools, and utilities that are also at immense risk. Converting to a carbon-neutral economy reduces these risks while securing local employment.

“Despite the frightening challenge we confront in climate change, I have hope for our future because lawmakers, innovators, business leaders, and community advocates are working across differences to find a common path to a truly sustainable Hawaiʻi,” Townsend added.

“Hawaiʻi is mastering its own destiny for the benefit of our children by doubling down on its commitment to a truly sustainable, clean energy economy that minimizes the financial losses to residents, protects taxpayer investments in critical infrastructure, and rewards environmental stewardship,” she said.

This bill appropriates funds for the “Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force” to set benchmarks and identify techniques for Hawaiʻi to capture more carbon than it emits.  Techniques to be assessed include funding, financial incentives, and technical expertise to promote agricultural and aquacultural practices that capture greenhouse gases, expand the urban tree canopy, parks, greenways, and wetlands, and promote the generation and use of compost.

Passage of this bill means Hawaiʻi is continuing to do everything possible to ensure our environment is cleaner and safer for our children, our local residents have reliable, well-paying jobs, and our tax dollars are well-invested.

Session is out!

Happy end of the 2018 legislative session everyone. This session was a tough one (although at this point we say that every year) but we made it out to the other side and have several reasons to celebrate—and several reasons to keep working hard as bills move to Governor Ige’s desk.

Here is a quick glance at TOP priority bills that made it out of session. After we take a moment to go outside and get some sunlight, stretch our legs, and take a deep breath we will share with you all a comprehensive review of the remaining bills we followed throughout this session.

Of course, we also want to share a HUGE MAHALO to all of you and your hard work tracking bills, submitting testimony, sharing calls to action, showing up at the capitol and everything in between that helped to keep the good bills going and the bad bills in check.

Signed into law

SB2939, now the Hawaiʻi Ratepayer Protection Act, establishes performance incentives for the electric utility to ensure it earns profits when it provides cheaper, renewable energy to its customers. You can read more about this victory here.

Be sure to take a minute to thank Governor Ige for signing this bill.

Good bills headed to the Governor’s desk

They are almost there. Write to Governor Ige asking him to sign these bills into law.

HB2182, aligns Hawaiʻi’s clean energy and carbon sequestration efforts with climate initiative goals—guides the State to sequester more carbon than it emits by 2045

HB2106, requires sea level rise predictions to be included in environmental assessments and impact statements

HB 2110, directs the Public Utilities Commission to establish a microgrid services tariff to encourage and facilitate the development and use of energy resilient microgrids

HB1986, establishes framework for a carbon offset program through partnership of the Office of Planning and Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force

SB2571, bans the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate in Hawaiʻi

SB3095, bans the use of chlorpyrifos, requires mandatory disclosure of restricted use pesticides, and creates buffer zones around schools

SB2567, establishes a working group with the Health Department to develop a plan for the conversion of all cesspools by 2050

HB1577, establishes compost pilot program to reimburse farmers who purchase compost from a certified processor, dealer, retailer, or wholesaler

Bad bills headed to the Governor’s desk

These bills are too close for comfort. Reach out to the Governor and ask him to veto these bills.

HB1932, allows state agencies to use emergency rules to override legislation and court decisions they do not agree with

SB192, transfers all Natural Area Reserve funds to the general fund

2nd Crossover Bill Update

The end of 2018 legislative session is just around the corner, but the work isn't over yet! Dozens of environmental bills we've been tracking all session are still alive and going through their respective conference committees. A conference committee is a committee comprised only of subject matter and finance committee chairs for finalization. (e.g., if the bill was referred to CPH, WAM in the Senate and EEP, FIN in the House, then its conference committee will be comprised of Senators Baker and Dela Cruz and Representatives Lee and Luke). Final decking is on April 26th.

Though the opportunity for public hearings is over, you can still help usher these bills through the legislature by contacting conference committee chairs and request they support the bills--preferably the best, most environmentally friendly versions of the bill as many have been drastically changed over the course of session (as indicated by HD1,2; SD1,2, etc). If they "survive" conference, that means they head to the governor's desk for signing or vetoing.

Check out the bill list here (good bills in green and bad bills in red) and contact conference committee chairs now! You can find out which committees each bill has gone through on the measure status page for each bill following "Referred to" and the House or Senate committee acronyms.

If the bill you're supporting (e.g., SB 2939 SD2) reads "Enrolled to Governor" at the bottom of its measure status page, that means the bill is headed straight to the governor's desk for signing into law (or veto). In this case, please feel free to write a message to Governor Ige or call his office at (808) 586-0034 and voice either your support or opposition to the bill. Any bills that "survive" conference will go through this process, so get ready!

Adjournment sine die is on May 3rd. Let's rally together behind these environmental bills for this final push of 2018 legislative session!

Sound the Alarm!! Gut & replace would repeal funding for our native forests

Hawaiʻi's forests need your help! The House Finance Committee just proposed gutting SB192 and replacing it with language that repeals the fund established to protect Natural Area Reserves (NARS) and transfer the $15 million balance to the general fund. The NARS fund is crucial to the protection of our most precious, unique wild areas.

SB192 will be heard on Wednesday, April 4 at 1:30PM in room 308. Attend if you can, but most certainly please submit testimony in opposition to this bill and in support of our natural area reserves.

The NARS fund is crucial to protecting the future of our drinking water resources, for these monies are used to manage essential forest and watershed resources. Land management and protection programs, such as those supported by the Natural Area Reserve Fund, require steady, reliable funding to be most efficient. With dedicated funding and special funds, the Department of Land and Natural Resources can count on a certain amount of funding without having to start from scratch each year, begging for life-sustaining support.

This money is the backbone of public-private conservation programs like the highly successful Watershed Partnerships. More than 2 million acres of upland forests are in active management by these partnerships to restore and perpetuate native ecosystems. These protected ecosystems capture rainwater for storage in our aquifers so that it can be used by future generations for drinking and sustenance. 

The conservation work provided by these partnerships translates into quantifiable ecosystem services that benefit everyone in Hawaiʻi. For example, the Ko‘olau Mountain watershed provides O‘ahu residents with $7‐14 billion worth of nature’s benefits, including 135 billion gallons of freshwater annually (47% of O‘ahu’s groundwater recharge), as well as helping to keep nearshore areas clean from runoff and sedimentation, which can impact reefs and fishing.

Our failure to invest millions of dollars in our forests today will mean that in a few years we will need to spend BILLIONS to capture and clean water manually. Please help our elected officials to not be penny-wise and pound-foolish by taking action today:

  1. Submit testimony right now (easy one click submission)

  2. Contact your legislator to tell them how important it is to protect our forests

  3. Forward this email to your social networks

  4. Attend the Finance Committee hearing tomorrow, April 4, State Capitol room 308 at 1:30 PM.

Women's History Month

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As Women's History Month comes to a close, we reflect on the powerful, intelligent, dynamic women who, throughout history, have paved the way for the rest of us. Opening doors, shattering glass ceilings, fighting every day for the opportunity and equality that is a right for our gender. Many of us enjoy the fruits of these labors, but, as a society, we still have a long way to go. 

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Over the past month, we have highlighted eight incredible women who have changed for the better and are still effecting positive change right here in Hawaiʻi nei. Charessa, Tiare, Heather, Nicole, Keani, Laura, Cynthia, and, of course, the incomparable Her Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani. We only wish there were enough hours in the day to recognize each and every woman working hard to see a just, vibrant, and thriving Hawaiʻi come to fruition. You know who you are...imua! We stand with you.

At the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi, I am pleased and fortunate to be a part of an incredible all-women staff. These women work harder than anyone I've known to protect the very environment we depend on. It is a privilege to learn from and work with these all-star women. Especially when it comes to protecting our environment, when women have a seat at the table--and even better, when they are in positions of leadership--nature wins. I am hopeful for our shared future. With evermore women getting involved to protect our natural resources on-the-ground to decision-making to project management, I am confident that we will all enjoy a resilient, flourishing environment for generations to come.

In solidarity,

Kimiko LaHaela Walter, Conservation Program Coordinator

Recycling is a good thing, let's do what we can to support it

Fun Fact: Germany has the highest overall recycling rate in the world with more than 50% of their total municipal waste being recycled!

Fun Fact: Germany has the highest overall recycling rate in the world with more than 50% of their total municipal waste being recycled!

Let's talk about HI-5 bottle recycling and redemption. What is redemption, you ask? It is when a person returns the empty beverage container (HI-5 labeled glass, plastic, or aluminum) to a participating recycling center. You see, when we purchase those beverage items with the label of "HI-5", this means we are paying an extra 5 cent deposit per bottle upfront, which we can redeem for the equivalent cash back when the bottle is empty. The simple idea is to incentivize consumers to return the bottles to recycling centers such that they won't end up littering our streets, clogging up drains, or polluting the ocean. Unfortunately, Hawaiʻi has seen a marked decrease in bottle redemption over the last several years. We must address this issue and find solutions that incentivize folks to redeem their empties! 

With the 2018 legislative session is rapidly nearing its end, change is on the horizon for our local recycling system. We should continue to support bills proposing initiatives for sustainable recycling and reuse of plastic commodities, especially after China announced its effective ban on 24 various scrap materials, most notably plastics. This is the perfect opportunity for the City and County of Honolulu to examine its history with local recycling and the steady decrease in redemption rates.

Senator Jill Tokuda (D-Kaneohe) introduced SB 3099 as a vehicle to increase redemption, highlighting success in other states like Oregon and Michigan who have implemented a 10 cent deposit fee. Michigan has shown an average of a 93% redemption from 2014 to 2016, and since its newest implementation last April 2017, Oregon has seen a jump from 64% to 82%. SB 3099 not only calls for an increase in deposit fees if the redemption rate falls below 85% after two consecutive years, but is also reinforced with 2 new positions for the deposit beverage program, established funds for a plastics recycling program, and gives more responsibility to the Department of Health in benchmarking return rates to 85%, and annually reporting fundings to the legislature.

Public approval of the possible new 10 cent deposit fees are up in the air for several reasons. Lack of knowledge about statistics included in the redemption rates, as well as decreased access to redemption facilities are among them. Redemption rates as stated above include all returns to redemption facilities, as well as the smaller 2% rate from residential blue bins. These blue bins are only offered on Oʻahu, whereas neighboring islands are required to return all recyclables to specified redemption facilities. This is concerning to locals who already have a difficult time with drop off and retrieving deposits from very limited facility options, possibly hindering redemption rates to begin with. Statistics show the declining rate of redemption directly correlates with the closing down of facilities and decreased access to redemption sites.

In addition to funding for a plastics recycling program, funding should also go to aiding additional facilities on neighbor islands, as well as possible research into new redemption sites (e.g., grocery stores). There are options for us to create a sustainable and resilient recycling system, beginning with the support and initiating the conversation on stricter recycling practices. Passing SB 3099 is a necessary first step to addressing these issues, keeping the conversation going with regards to the importance of recycling, maintaining the overall cultural conditioning to recycle HI-5 bottles, and to incentivize residents to redeem their recyclable bottles.

State Senate Bill Would Increase Can and Bottle Deposits, 3/19/2018, Honolulu Star Advertiser

To learn more about Senate Bill 3099, click here.

There is NO Planet B

Climate change is the most serious global challenge in the history of our species. Climate scientists agree that we have a much better future in store for us if we act quickly and with earnest to make significant changes--and it all comes down to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. House Bill 1801 HD1 helps Hawaiʻi do a better job of that by correcting flaws in the original renewable portfolio standard (RPS), ensuring 100% renewable truly means 100% renewable, in addition to extending the RPS to gas utilities.

With Hawaiʻi Gas moving forward to expand their use of fracked Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), it is crucial Hawaiʻi ensure that ALL utilities are mandated to achieve our 100% renewable energy goal. LNG has no place in Hawaiʻi's clean energy future and makes our dependence on imported, dirty fossil fuels worse--not better.  LNG is made of methane, a potent, toxic, greenhouse gas.  Any effort and expense to use LNG here is far better put toward reaching our renewables goal, rather than to invest in more fossil fuel infrastructure and projects that ultimately contribute to our own demise.

Remember: there is NO Planet B.

Bottomline: the gas utility should not have a lower standard than the electric utility. This bill enables a fair playing field in the transition to a renewable energy based State.

We need to fix the critical flaws in our RPS that would prevent us from ensuring a full and fair transition to clean energy.  We must not undermine our own efforts to achieve our 100% renewable energy goal. 

HB 1801 HD1 has a hearing on Wednesday, March 21, at 1:30pm in conference room 225.  Your help is needed to flight climate change and protect the planet by submitting testimony in STRONG SUPPORT for this bill by Tuesday March 20, 1:30pm.  You can use the following testimony as a guide, but remember, adding your own perspective and manaʻo is always preferred:

Aloha Chairs Inouye and Baker, Vice Chairs Espero and Tokuda, and members of the TRE and CPH committees,

I am writing in STRONG SUPPORT of HB 1801 HD1. This bill would amend the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to more accurately reflect the percentage of renewable energy penetration in the State. It also establishes a RPS and targets for gas utility companies that mirrors those set for electric utility companies.  

We need to fix the critical flaws in our RPS that would prevent us from ensuring a full and fair transition to clean energy.  We must not undermine our own efforts to achieve our 100% by 2045 renewable energy goal. 

Mahalo for the opportunity to testify in strong support of this very important bill!

Submit testimony in support of HB 1801 HD1 NOW by clicking here and hitting the blue "submit testimony" button at the top of the page.

Need a 2-minute refresher on how to set up an account and submit testimony on the Capitol website? It's so easy! Click here.

A Gift of Clean Energy this St. Paddy's Day

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Happy St. Patrick's Day! What better way to celebrate a day of green than by testifying in support of several important clean energy bills being heard on Monday and Wednesday before the Senate Committees on Transportation & Energy and Commerce, Consumer Protection & Health.

Let's be clear: the hearings before these committees are CRITICAL. As we near the end of session, important bills are going through tougher committees. In fact, the last one or two committees are often where bills go to die. This is why your help is needed to let legislators know just how important these clean energy measures are to our communities!

See below sample testimony that can broadly work for all four bills. However, personalizing your testimony and making it more specific to each bill is always recommended.

Aloha Chairs Inouye and Baker, Vice Chairs Espero and Tokuda, and members of the Committees,

My name is _________________ and I live in _________________. I am in STRONG SUPPORT of this important bill that moves Hawaiʻi toward our goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. We have a long way to go and many things to do before we reach this admirable and ambitious goal, which showcases to the world our commitment to combat climate change and preserve our beautiful planet for generations to come. This measure is one of several that will contribute to these important efforts. I urge the committees to pass this bill!

Mahalo for the opportunity to testify today.

Click on the bill numbers below to submit testimony for each bill.

HB 2110, HB 2249, and HB 2460 will be heard before the TRE and CPH committees on Monday, March 19, at 3:15PM in Conference Room 225.

HB 1801 will be heard before the TRE and CPH committees on Wednesday, March 21, at 1:30PM in Conference Room 225.

If you are available, please join us in the hearing room! Providing oral testimony or even simply your presence in the room is highly valuable to convince legislators that these issues matter.

Need a refresher on how to submit written testimony on the Capitol website? Click here.

Please Testify in Support of the Red Hill Bill!

All hands on deck! SB 2930 SD2 HD1 has a hearing in a CRITICAL COMMITTEE: House Committee on Health and Human Services on Tuesday March 20 at 8:30am in Capitol room 329. This is our opportunity to demand that these leaky, antiquated tanks be upgraded to secondary containment within 10 years! Please help us get this critical bill to the governor's desk...only one more committee after this one if we can successfully shepherd it through Tuesday's hearing.

This bill presents the best opportunity to ensure the strongest regulations of the Red Hill fuel tanks. The tanks at Red Hill will need to brought into compliance with the rules that are drafted by the Department of Health—this bill, through the legislative process, allows the opportunity for the public to help influence those rules, even before the administrative process. 

Please testify now using the form below!

If you are available, please come out and support. Your oral testimony, and even simply your presence, makes a big difference in helping legislators take a strong position in defense of our water. You may bring signs but they must be on 8.5x11" paper. 

Need a refresher on the Red Hill Water Issue? Click here.

Call Your Representatives for the Red Hill Bill!

Thank you to everyone that submitted testimony on SB 2930, the Red Hill bill - we had over 120 people submit testimony - THAT IS OUTSTANDING!

Chair Lee, Vice Chair Lowen, and the members of the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee have deferred SB 2930 to the end of the Thursday, March 15 agenda for decision making. This decision—after long testimony and discussions from the U.S. Navy, Attorney General’s office, Hawaiʻi Department of Health, Honolulu Board of Water Supply and the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi—allows for further discussions to be had with these stakeholders on exactly what amendments should be made to the bill. We expect that SB 2930 will be passed out of EEP on Thursday but with what amendments is unclear.

What you can do:
Call House Speaker Saiki at 808-586-6100 today or tomorrow and ask him to protect Oʻahu's water by passing a bill that requires secondary containment of the Red Hill tanks within 10 years. The people of Oʻahu deserve clean and secure drinking water and should not have to wait another 20 years, as proposed by the Department of Health, to ensure our water is safe from fuel contamination.

Representative Bellati (Email: repbellati@capitol.hawaii.gov, Tel: 808-586-9431) and Representative Luke (Email: repluke@capitol.hawaii.gov, Tel: 808-586-6200) are also two legislators who should hear community voices on this critical water security issue! Please take a few minutes to let them know it matters to you and your community.

We will keep you posted on the status of SB 2930.

As always, thank you for everything you do to protect Hawaiʻi and its environment.

E ola i ka wai. Water is life.

How to submit testimony on the State Capitol Website

Check out this step-by-step quick reference guide to submitting testimony at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol Website! In 8 easy steps, you can elevate your voice at the legislature to support (or oppose) issues that matter to you. Congratulations for taking this important and necessary step in civic engagement! Happy testifying!

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For written testimony tips, click here.

You can always send an email directly to the committee before which the bill is being heard. For example, if the bill is being heard before the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection (EEP), you can send testimony to: EEPtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

You can find a list of committees along with their acronyms here. Please note: if the bill is being heard before two or more committees at the same time, you must submit your testimony to EACH committee, addressing the committee chairs and vice chairs accordingly.

Red Hill Bill Needs Your Support!

Just in case you missed it, we won our lawsuit against the Hawaiʻi Department of Health. At the end of February, first circuit court Judge Crabtree ruled from the bench in favor of the Sierra Club—finding that the state’s exemption of the Red Hill fuel tanks violates state law.

This is a HUGE WIN and a giant step in the right direction. But we have lots of work left to do.

Next Step: Senate Bill 2930 SD2. This bill requires that the Red Hill tanks have secondary containment—that is, leak prevention—or the tanks be removed and the fuel relocated. The deadline for accomplishing this was blanked out in the last Senate Committee to hear the bill (that’s Sen. Baker’s Consumer Protection and Health Committee). But we are asking for 5 years.

This bill presents the best opportunity to ensure the strongest regulations of the Red Hill fuel tanks. The tanks at Red Hill will need to brought into compliance with the rules that are drafted by the Department of Health—this bill, through the legislative process, allows the opportunity for the public to help influence those rules, even before the administrative process. 

SB 2930 SD2 has a hearing in the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection on Tuesday, March 13 at 8:30AM in Conference Room 325. If you are available, please come out and support. Your oral testimony, and even simply your presence, makes a big difference in helping legislators take a strong position in defense of our water. You may bring signs but they must be on 8.5x11" paper. 

Action Alert! Important bills being heard in House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection

This hearing is HUGE! Please submit testimony by Monday 3/12 at 8:30am in SUPPORT of the following bills:


SB 2930 Underground Storage Tanks

Sea Level Rise

SB 2334 Sea Level Rise planning

SB 3068 Implements recommendations of the Sea Level Rise report

Clean Energy

SB 2939 Performance based rates

SB 2910 Grid resiliency


SB 2567 Cesspool upgrade upon property sale


SB 2571 Oxybenzone/Octinoxate Ban


SB 3099 Recycling benchmarks

SB 2110 Motor oil collection

Native/Invasive Species

SB 2399 Invasive Species Authority

General Environment

SB 2977 Assesses the effects of tourism on climate change

SB 2965 Nature-based solutions in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts

Sustainable Development Goals

SB 2668 Affordable and clean energy

SB 2674 Climate action

Need a testimony template? Click here for a copy & paste. You will just need to add your info and why you support the bill.

Sustainable Development Goals in Hawaiʻi


Sustainable development is a term that we hear a lot these days. It is defined by the International Institute of Sustainable Development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Sustainability is crucial here in Hawaiʻi, as we have already seen our natural resources become depleted, and will be some of the first in the world affected by climate change and sea level rise.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted a new framework for a better world, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the purpose of creating a “plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.” Hawaiʻi has taken initiative and jumped on board with the United Nations, and now has drafted legislation to implement statewide action and do our part to help achieve the sustainability goals. Below are some of the SDG bills that align with our mission this legislative session:

SB 2667 Clean water and sanitation - including access to clean drinking water for all, improving water quality and efficiency, protecting watersheds and restoring water-related ecosystems, and implementing more effective water resource management

SB 2668* Affordable and clean energy - including achieving 70% clean energy, 100% renewable energy by 2045, expanding and upgrading technology and infrastructure

SB 2674 Climate action - including integrating climate change measures into state policies and strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate related natural disasters

SB 2675 Life below water - which includes preventing and significantly reducing marine pollution, in particular from land based activities, sustainably managing and protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, and ending overfishing and subsidies that promote illegal, unprotected and unreported fishing

SB 2676 Life on land - which includes ensuring conservation, restoration and sustainable use of land, combating desertification and ensuring the conservation of mountain ecosystems

*We would like to note that SB 2668 has language pertaining to "cleaner fossil fuel technology" (page 8, line 13). The Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi does not support the implementation of technologies that utilize fossil fuels of any kind moving forward, when renewables could be chosen. We suggest the language of this bill be amended to explicitly define "clean fossil fuels" in the statute.

Crossover is upon us!

The 2018 legislative session is halfway finished! ...and what a whirlwind it has been. For those of you with us for the first time, welcome and thanks for sticking to it! We know it can be fast and furious. Please feel free to reach out with any questions: hawaii.chapter@sierraclub.org

Below is the list of 50 environmental bills we will be pushing after crossover. Please familiarize as necessary! Most bills already have committee referrals, so NOW it is time to contact committee chairs to hear these bills ASAP. Next important deadline: March 23 is second lateral.

What is "crossover", you ask? 

Crossover: deadline for bills to pass third reading in order to move (or “crossover”) to the other chamber. If successful, House bills are sent to the Senate and Senate bills are sent to the House for further consideration.

Click here for a quick view refresher on how a bill becomes a law in Hawaiʻi.

Sea Level Rise

HB 2106 OEQC/Chapter 343 include SLR considerations

SB 2334 SLR planning

SB 3068 Implements recommendations of the SLR report

Clean Energy

HB 1801 Gas utility standard = electric utility standard

HB 1864 Ocean thermal air conditioning

HB 2460 Microgrids

SB 2939 Performance based rates

HB 2724 Office of Clean Energy

HB 2719 Clean energy economy advisory board

SB 2910 Grid resiliency / HB 2249 Grid resiliency

HB 2110 Microgrid tariff

HB 1830 UH Green Special Fund


HB 1986 DBEDT carbon revenues

HB 2182 Carbon Sequestration Task Force

SB 1088 Haleakala Carbon Forestry Project FIN

HB 795 Carbon forestry certification WTL, WAM


HB 2626 Third party consultant

SB 2717 Grants for Hawaiian Homelands

SB 2567 Upgrade upon sale


SB 2571 Oxybenzone/Octinoxate Ban


SB2498 Polystyrene ban

HB 2107 Plastic Pollution Initiative

HB 2718 DAGS county polystyrene


HB 1806 Food donations

HB 1800 Motor vehicle tires

SB 3099 Recycling benchmarks

HB 2025 Composting in schools pilot project

SB 2110 Motor oil collection

Native/Invasive Species

SB 2399 Invasive Species Authority


SB 3095 Buffer zones

SB 2126 Pesticide revolving fund

SB 2569 Pesticide Advisory Committee

Agriculture/Land Use

SB 2524 County land use requirements

SB 2572 Local food production

SB 2561 Conservation districts / HB 2101 Conservation districts


SB 2331 Na Ala Hele trail funding


HB 2595 DLNR watershed funding

HB 1977 Watershed flood mitigation


HB 1987 Stream study 

SB 2930 Underground Storage Tanks

HB 2592 Water infrastructure funding

DLNR Funding

SB 3038 TAT—>DLNR funding 

General Environment

HB 2026 LRB study to re-org agencies

HB 2470 State and county water and air quality standards

SB 2977 Tourism effects on climate change

SB 2965 Nature-based solutions in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts

Sustainable Development Goals

SB 2667 Clean water and sanitation

SB 2668 Affordable and clean energy

SB 2674 Climate action

SB 2675 Life below water

SB 2676 Life on land

Contact Your Legislators ASAP!

We have provided the following bill numbers and talking points for your convenience. Please call and email on Monday at the latest to get these important bills heard before crossover!

Please contact Chairwoman Sylvia Luke of the House Finance Committee at 808-586-6200 and repluke@capitol.hawaii.gov

Aloha Chair Luke, 

My name is ____________ and I live in ____________. I am writing to kindly request that you hear a few environmental bills this week.

  • HB 2468 HD2 - This bill would establish a Hawaiʻi Beach Preservation Special Fund and a 3-year pilot project for North Shore beaches. As climate change progresses, we must find solutions to address the very real problem of sea level rise and how it will impact our communities.
  • HB 2249 HD2 - This bill would establish the Grid Resiliency Rebate Program and a Grid Resiliency Task Force to prepare the State's electrical grid for natural disasters and other emergencies. We don't want what happened in Puerto Rico to happen here. 
  • HB 2726 HD2 - This bill would support our recycling programs by setting important benchmarks for redemption rates and finding alternatives for the sustainable reuse of plastics. We need to reduce the vast amount of waste that ends up in our oceans and on our beaches, plus redirect unsustainable waste that goes to H-Power (e.g., plastic--which is an unclean source of energy when burned!).

Mahalo for your time and I look forward to seeing these bills on a hearing notice soon!

Please contact Chairman Chris Lee of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee at 808-586-9456 and replee@capitol.hawaii.gov

Aloha Chair Lee, 

My name is ____________ and I live in ____________. I am writing to kindly request that you hear an important environmental bill this week.

  • HB 2512 - This bill would further restrict the criteria for variances from the requirement that all new single-family homes utilize solar water heating. In places like the Ewa Plain on Oʻahu where solar irradiance is high, there are few reasons why on-demand gas water heaters should be installed instead of solar water heaters. We MUST avoid dependence on liquified natural gas. It is often obtained in an unsustainable way (e.g., fracking) that not only contributes to climate change, but also pollutes communities at the source.

Mahalo for your time and I look forward to seeing this bill on a hearing notice soon!

Please contact Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz of the Senate Ways and Means Committee at 808-586-6090 and sendelacruz@capitol.hawaii.gov

Aloha Chair Dela Cruz, 

My name is ____________ and I live in ____________. I am writing to kindly request that you hear a couple environmental bills this week.

  • SB 3063 - A bill that would have the University of Hawai‘i conduct an economic analysis of North Shore beaches. As climate change progresses, we must find solutions to address the very real problem of sea level rise and how it will impact our communities. This bill will help us understand the economic aspect of addressing this issue.
  • SB 2446 SD1 - This bill requires that a percentage of the Hawaii Tourism Authority's budget be transferred to the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the counties. With tourist arrivals poised to exceed 10 million per year in the next couple of years, we MUST re-direct funds to protect and preserve the very natural resources most visitors--not to mention locals!--are coming here to experience. 

Mahalo for your time and I look forward to seeing these bills on a hearing notice soon!

Please contact Chairwoman Rosalyn Baker of the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection & Health Committee at 808-586-6070 and senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov

Aloha Chair Baker, 

My name is ____________ and I live in ____________. I am writing to kindly request that you hear an important environmental bill this week.

  • SB 2442 - This bill would require mandatory seller disclosures in real estate transactions within a sea level rise exposure area. As climate change progresses, we must find solutions to address the very real problem of sea level rise and how it will impact our communities, beaches, and the environment.

Mahalo for your time and I look forward to seeing this bill on a hearing notice soon!

Protect our Hiking Trails

Like to Hike? Support this bill that would fund the Department of Land and Natural Resources “Na Ala Hele” Program. Na Ala Hele is the State of Hawai‘i Trail and Access Program- managing over 128 trails that span 850 miles throughout Hawai‘i! 

SB 2331 SD1 Relating to Trails has a hearing next week! Please submit written testimony in SUPPORT for this bill by Tuesday, February 27, at 11am. You can submit your support via email to: wamtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov

You can use the following testimony as a guide:

“Aloha Chair Dela Cruz, Vice Chair Keith-Agaran, and members of the Ways and Means Committee. My name is ________ and I live in __________. I’m writing in strong support for SB 2331 SD 1, which appropriates funding for “Na Ala Hele”, the State’s Trail and Access Program. Keeping up with the increasing impacts on our beloved hiking trails is a constant challenge for the State. This bill would provide critical funds for improving access and maintaining state controlled recreational trails statewide and promoting hiker safety, hiker etiquette education, and outreach. I love to hike because ______________ and believe funding our trails is so important because ______________. Please support SB 2331 SD1 and pass this bill.”

Thank you for your support in protecting our trails!

Red Hill Bill Needs Your Support

Wednesday was a big win for us - the Navy's Red Hill tanks violate state law. This win means many things - one being that there is now A LOT MORE work to do. 

The work has arrived. First up - SB2930 requires the Department of Health to adopt rules for underground storage tanks and tank systems to meet federal regulations including additional requirements for field-constructed tanks (tanks at Red Hill) by October 2018.

At this time, this bill presents the best opportunity for us to ensure the strongest regulations of these tanks. The tanks at Red Hill will need to brought into compliance with the rules that are drafted by the Department of Health—this bill, through the legislative process, allows the opportunity for the public to help influence those rules, even before the administrative process. 

The pre-draft rules that the Department of Health has proposed are not strong enough. The rules codify 20 years and less than 100% protection of Oʻahu's groundwater.  

Please submit testimony below on SB 2930 and come to the hearing on Monday, February 26 at 10:15am in room 229 at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol. This committee does not accept oral testimony but your presence makes a big difference in helping legislators take a strong position in defense of our water. You may bring signs but they must be on 8.5x11" paper.  

Clean energy and environmental bills enter their final Committee in the House!

We need your help getting these important bills through their final hearing in the House: the Committee on Finance! Hearing notice here.

a) Submit written testimony by Thursday 2/22 at 2:00 PM

b) Attend the hearing on Friday 2/23 at 2:00 PM in Conference Room 308

Clean Energy


Sea Level Rise


  • HB 2182 HD1 Relating to Environmental Protection - STRONG SUPPORT
  • HB 1986 HD2 Relating to the Environment - Oppose HD2 Amendments, Support original bill language. We would like to promote carbon projects throughout the state, but believe that all revenues generated through carbon offsets to be administered by DBEDT alone would potentially create disincentives for project proponents to engage in costly and time-intensive projects (e.g., forest carbon projects).


TIP: You can review testimony submitted by these House Draft 1 (HD1) and 2 (HD2) bills by clicking on the Testimony link on the Measure Status of each bill's page on the Capitol website. This way, you can see what other organizations, agencies, and individuals were saying about each bill!

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