Legislators pass several important energy and environmental protection measures – Advice Eating

Among the many measures passed during the 2022 state legislative session that ended Thursday, May 5, were several bills that will benefit the environment and continue the state’s push towards the use of clean energy.

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

Legislators reaffirmed their leadership on climate action with bills promoting energy efficiency, economy-wide decarbonization, a continued push to accelerate the state’s clean energy transition, and measures to reduce the energy burden of low- and middle-income families.

“The laws 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,” said Nicole Lowen, Chair of the The House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee represents Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa and Honokōhau on the Big Island, according to a press release.

The bills sent to Governor David Ige for consideration include:

House template 1801: Energy efficiency of state institutions

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This measure instructs the state to implement energy efficiency measures that save energy and money and create clean energy jobs. This bill also requires that data on government buildings’ energy use be collected and made publicly available, and that all new facilities be designed to maximize energy and water efficiency and use low-carbon building materials where possible and cost-effective.

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HB 1800: Decarbonization study paths and targets for 2030

This bill sets interim greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 of 50% compared to 2005 levels, in line with the Paris Agreement. It is also funding a comprehensive study to determine the state’s pathways to decarbonizing its economy and to identify challenges, opportunities and actions needed to achieve those goals.

HB 2089: Renewable Portfolio Standard loophole

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This bill fills a long-standing loophole in the formula used to calculate electric utility companies’ progress on renewable energy.

Concurrent Senate Resolution 242: LIHEAP

The resolution convenes a working group to consider how best to implement an energy assistance program for low-income households at the state level.

SCR 48: Energy equity and equity

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

Senate Bill 3325: Carbon Smart Land Management Assistance Program

This measure creates a scheme to support carbon smart farming to encourage farmers and foresters to manage their land in a way that contributes to carbon sequestration.

SB 3004: Compost Reimbursement Scheme

This bill creates incentives for farmers and landscape gardeners to use compost.

HB 1992: Approval for composting

This measure removes zoning barriers and provides support in navigating the permitting process for medium-sized and large-scale composting.

HB 2195: Cesspit Compliance Grant Program

This statute establishes a grant program for low- and middle-income homeowners or tenants from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to help with the cost of remodeling sumps on properties located near shoreline or other water sources.

HB 1644: PFAS Chemicals

This law permanently ends the use of toxic chemicals, which have been shown to have numerous harmful effects on human health, 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 for counties to expand e-waste collection events, increase recycling goals for manufacturers and collectors, and expand the types of electronic equipment to be collected.

SB 2998: Audits of deposit beverage container collection points

This measure requires the state Department of Health and Human Services to conduct risk-based audits of deposit soda container redemption centers to reduce fraud and improve the deposit soda container program.

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