Legislature passes several key energy and environmental protection measures: Kauai Now : Kauai News & Information

Among the many measures approved in the 2022 state legislative session, which ended Thursday, May 5, were several bills that will benefit the environment and continue the state’s push toward the use clean energy.

Hawaii State Seal. Image courtesy of the State of Hawaii.

The Legislature reaffirmed its climate leadership with bills that promote energy efficiency, economy-wide decarbonization, a continued push to accelerate the state’s transition to clean energy, and measures to reduce the energy burden borne by low- and middle-income families.

“The bills we passed this year will help reduce Hawaii’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, save taxpayers money, support local green jobs, and protect the future of our planet,” State House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee Chair Nicole Lowen, who represents Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa and Honokōhau on the Big Island, said in a statement. Press release.

Bills sent to Governor David Ige for consideration include:

House Bill 1801: Energy Efficiency of State Facilities

This measure directs the state to implement energy efficiency measures that will save energy and money and create clean energy jobs. This bill also requires that energy consumption data for state buildings be collected and made public, and that all new facilities be designed to maximize energy and water efficiency, and use construction materials low-carbon, where possible and cost-effective.

HB 1800: Study on decarbonization pathways and 2030 targets

This bill sets intermediate greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 of 50% compared to 2005 levels, in accordance with the Paris Agreement. It is also funding an in-depth study to determine the paths the state is taking to decarbonize its economy and identify the challenges, opportunities, and actions needed to achieve these goals.

HB 2089: Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Loophole

This bill fixes a long-standing flaw in the formula used to calculate electric utilities’ renewable energy progress.

Concurrent Senate Resolution 242: LIHEAP

The resolution convenes a task force to consider how best to implement a low-income household energy assistance program at the state level.

SCR 48: Energy Equity and Justice

This resolution directs the State Utilities Commission and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to integrate energy equity and justice considerations into all of their work.

Senate Bill 3325: Carbon-Smart Land Assistance Program

This measure creates a carbon-smart land management assistance program to incentivize farmers and foresters to manage their land in a way that helps sequester carbon emissions.

SB 3004: Compost Reimbursement Program

This bill encourages farmers and landscapers to use compost.

HB 1992: Permit for composting

This measure removes zoning barriers and provides support for navigating the permit process for medium and large scale composting.

HB 2195: Cesspool Compliance Grant Program

This law establishes a grant program for low- and moderate-income homeowners or tenants of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to help defray the cost of cesspool conversions on properties located near shorelines or other water sources.

HB 1644: PFAS chemicals

This bill is phasing out the use of toxic “eternal chemicals” that have been shown to cause numerous adverse human health effects in certain types of food packaging and fire-fighting foam.

HB 1640: Electronic waste

This legislation updates and improves the state’s e-waste recycling program. It also provides more funding to counties to expand e-waste collection events, increases recycling targets for manufacturers and collectors, and expands the types of electronics to be collected.

SB 2998: Returnable Beverage Container Redemption Center Audits

This action requires the state Department of Health to conduct risk-based audits of beverage container refund centers to reduce fraud and improve the beverage container deposit program.

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