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

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:, Tel: 808-586-9431) and Representative Luke (Email:, 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.

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:

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

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

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

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

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!

First Lateral Bill Update

It has been a whirlwind of bill tracking since session started, but we have come to the first lateral deadline (2/16) with many of our priority environmental bills still alive!

First lateral: all bills referred to more than one committee (i.e., those with multiple referrals) must move to their final committee in the originating chamber by this day.

Some of these bills are still sitting in their final committee, which means we need to get them heard before crossover on 3/8. A handful have already made it to crossover!

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.

Please update your bill trackers with the bill list below. We will start ramping up our calls to action soon, as many of these bills are passing through tougher committees. Our scope is narrowed, now is the time to push hard for these good bills to be passed this session!

*Note: Designated ALL CAPS acronyms refer to the committee the bill is currently sitting in (e.g., FIN = bill still needs to be heard by the Finance Committee before 3/8 in order to make it to crossover). CRSO = the bill has been heard by all committees it was referred to and now it is headed to crossover.

Sea Level Rise

 HB 2468 FIN, HB 2469 FIN, HB 2106 FIN, SB 2442 CPH, SB 694 CPH, SB 2334 CRSO, SB 3068 WAM, SB 3063 WAM, SB 2017 CPH


HB 2626 FIN, HB 2732 FIN,/SB 2642 CPH/AEN/WTL, SB 2717 WAM, SB 2567 CPH

Clean Energy

HB 1801 FIN, HB 1864 FIN, HB 2460 FIN, SB 2939 WAM, HB 2724 FIN, HB 2719 FIN, SB 2910 WAM/HB 2249 FIN, HB 2110 FIN, HB 1830 FIN


HB 1986 FIN, HB 2182 FIN, HB 795 WTL/WAM, SB 1088 FIN

Oxybenzone Ban

HB 2723 FIN, SB 2571 CPH


SB2498 CPH, HB 2625 FIN, HB 2107 FIN, SB 2285 JDC/WAM, HB 2718 FIN


HB 1806 CRSO, HB 1800 FIN, HB 2726 FIN/SB 3099 WAM, HB 184 FIN, HB 2025 FIN, HB 2095 FIN, SB 2110 CPH

Native/Invasive Species

SB 636 WAM, SB 2399 WAM, HB 2301 FIN


HB 2721 FIN, HB 2722 FIN, HB 1756 FIN, SB 3095 EDU/WAM, SB 2126 CRSO, SB 2569 CRSO

Agriculture/Land Use

SB 2575 WAM, SB 2524 CPH/PSM/AEN, SB 2572 WAM, SB 2561 WAM HB 2101 FIN


HB 479 FIN, SB 2331 WAM


HB 2595 FIN, HB 1977 FIN


SB 2667 CRSO, SB 2668 WAM, SB 2674 CRSO, SB 2675 WAM, SB 2676 WAM


HB 1987 FIN, SB 2930 CPH, HB 2592 FIN

DLNR Funding

SB 2446 WAM

General Environment

HB 1708 FIN, HB 2026 FIN, HB 2470 FIN

Bills, Bills, Bills

The 29th legislative session is in full swing! With help from our members, partners, and Capitol Watch team captains, we’ve been busy tracking a number of bills that we've identified as priority bills. Please add these to your trackers and flag as bills that either a) have "legs" (i.e., have a decent chance to pass first lateral) and/or b) are well-written with the greatest positive environmental impact.

Please note: after first lateral (February 16th), many bills will die. It is important we make every attempt to get these priority bills through the committees they have been referred to! Please contact Committee Chairs ASAP and request your priority bills get heard!

HOW can you help?

There are many ways you can help usher these priority bills through the legislature:

WHAT bills are priority?

Sea Level Rise: HB 2468, HB 2469, HB 2106, SB 2442, SB 694, SB 2334, SB 3068, SB 3063, SB 2327, SB 2017

Cesspools: HB 2268, HB 2626, HB 2732/SB 2642HB 1722/SB 2717, SB 2567, SB 2117

Clean Energy: HB 1801, HB 1864, HB 2057, HB 2109, HB 2460, HB 2431, SB 2933, SB 2956, SB 2939, HB 2724, HB 2719, SB 2910/HB 2249, HB 2110, HB 1830

LNG/Fracking: HB 1836, HB 1837, HB 1838, HB 1839

Carbon: HB 1986, HB 1991, HB 2182, HB 795, SB 1088, SB 105

Oxybenzone Ban: HB 2264, HB 2723, HB 1391, SB 2571, SB 2409

Polystyrene/Plastic: HB 1937/SB2498, HB 2625/SB 2964, HB 371, HB 2107, SB 2285, SB 2127, HB 2718

Waste/RecyclingHB 1806HB 1800, HB 2726/SB 3099, HB 184, HB 2025, HB 2095, SB 2110, SB 2120

Native/Invasive Species: HB 904/SB 636, SB 2399, HB 2301/SB 2728

Pesticides: HB 2721, HB 2722, HB 2495/SB 2837, HB 1756/SB 2456, SB 2469, SB 3095, SB 2126

Agriculture/Land Use: SB 2575, SB 2524, SB 2572, SB 2561/HB 2101

Trails: HB 479, SB 2331

Watersheds: HB 2595HB 2543, HB 1977

Freshwater: HB 1987, SB 2930/HB2712, HB 2592

Sustainable Development Goals: SB 2667, SB 2668, SB 2673, SB 2674, SB 2675, SB 2676

DLNR Funding: SB 2446

General Environment: HB 1708, HB 2026, HB 2470

*Slash indicates companion bills.

HTA & DLNR Budget Talks...Stay with Us!

UPDATE (2/1/2018): SB 2446 passed through all three committees yesterday, with a half dozen senators grilling Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) employees, including president and CEO George Szigeti, on what they've been doing to mālama natural resources and the environment across the state. Star Advertiser article on this issue here.

ACTION ALERT: Contact Ways and Means Committee Chair Senator Donovan Dela Cruz NOW and urge him to hear SB 2446!

It's no secret that the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) suffers from chronic underfunding and understaffing issues. For years, the agency and legislature has arm wrestled over "we need more funding" and "first do what you're mandated to do" statements. Perhaps it's time to consider giving the DLNR the benefit of the doubt, toss more funds their way, and see what happens. After all, it has become clear that our natural resources are beginning to show deleterious effects, in huge part due to the nearly 10 million tourists we welcome to our islands each year.

But where will the funding come from, you ask? Well, there is currently a measure in the Senate (SB 2446) that seeks to transfer 15% of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA)'s budget to the DLNR. The HTA has done a marvelous job in drawing ever-increasing numbers of visitors to Hawaiʻi. Tourist visits consistently exceed even their own forecasts! With a annual budget approval of over $88 million last year, it is no wonder. 

Meanwhile, the DLNR, mandated to manage and protect Hawai‘i’s finite natural resources and pristine beauty -- that which arguably draws the over 9 million tourists to the islands annually -- receives a mere 1.2% of the State budget. The outcome of this imbalance is a grossly underfunded and understaffed DLNR, which inevitably results in insufficient management of the very natural resources the HTA draws visitors here to experience.Trails are overcrowded and insufficiently maintained, invasive species are swiftly spreading whilst native species are dwindling in numbers, reefs are experiencing bleaching and die-off in part from the chemical offloading from hoards of sunscreen-laden tourists entering the nearshore waters.

Perhaps it is time to start leveling the scale and transfer a significant portion of HTA’s budget to DLNR; a choice that will not only have positive outcomes for the natural beauty of Hawai‘i, but also for the local people and visitors who enjoy it.

SB 2446 has a joint hearing before three committees on Wednesday January 31st.

Committee Hearing on Energy and Environmental Protection

House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection (EEP): Thursday, 1/25/2018, 8:30am, Conference Room 325 (Agenda here)

Bills to watch (testimony due 1/24/2018 at 8:30am):

  • HB 1864: Relating to Renewable Energy Technologies

This bill expands the income tax credit for renewable energy technologies to include ocean thermal conversion systems. This means that if ocean thermal conversion systems were installed, (e.g., for air conditioning cooling purposes on a large building), the individual or corporation could claim a tax credit up to 35% of the cost of installation on their tax return the following year up to $1.5 million.

Our thoughts: this bill is a good bill that broadens the playing field for folks to choose renewable energy alternatives, which supports our statewide goal of 100% by 2045. Learn more about “SeaWater Air Conditioning” here.

  • HB1801: Relating to Renewable Energy

This bill would amend the definition of “renewable portfolio standard” to more accurately reflect the percentage of renewable energy penetration in the State. It seeks to hold gas utility companies to the same standard as electric utility companies.

Our thoughts: this bill is a good bill that seeks to rectify the overestimation of the amount of renewable energy serving Hawaiʻi’s electric utility customers and also holds the gas utility to a higher standard that mirrors the electric utility’s standard that commits to increase their reliance on renewable energy. Not all gas is clean and renewable, which the gas utility should be held accountable to address. Refresh your understanding on the State’s path to a renewable future here.

  • HB 1830: Relating to Energy at the University of Hawaiʻi

This bill broadens the University of Hawaiʻi’s (UH)options to deposit and move money from the Green Specials Funds to initiatives that support the use of renewable energy and increases in energy efficiency and conservation. It also allows the University to transfer other funds into the Green Special Fund for the purpose of renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation.

Our thoughts: this is a good bill that increases the capacity of UH to engage in renewable energy projects and initiatives that increase energy efficiency and conservation. As UH is the second largest energy user in Hawaiʻi, besides the military, any efforts to move their energy use toward a more clean a renewable profile, moves the State in general toward our goal of 100% renewable by 2045. Learn more about the UH Green Special/Revolving Fund here.

  • HB 1800: Relating to Motor Vehicle Tires

This bill authorizes counties to establish a requirement for customers to exchange the equal number of used tires to the tire retailer as they are purchasing, or pay a fee to compensate for the missing tires. This reduces tire waste, which has ecological and human health implications such as promoting the spread of mosquito borne illness, and creates a fund for authorities to clean up improperly disposed of used tires.

Our thoughts: this bill is a good bill that promotes tire recycling. Tire waste is unsightly when it litters our roads and other spaces, and is a threat to human health/safety and the environment.

Need a refresher on submitting testimony? Click here.