Tag Archives: environment

Testimony needed – HB903 to reduce non-point source pollution

HB 903 is a dramatic improvement to the state’s polluted runoff .  Click here for details.


Bill Tracking as of 24 February 2013

Bill Tracking as of 24 February 2013.  Bills needing action are in bold. Click here to see tracking document.

Support SB620

SB620 requires restaurants offer an alternative to styrofoam doggie bags.  Styrofoam kills people and wildlife.  It is particularly dangerous in food containers.  Styrene leaches from the foam and is highly cancerogenic as well as causing estrogen problems.

Check here for more information

Testimony needed bills supporting invasive species control and watershed management

This announcement is posted courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.  It is not a position of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, but is one of the highest priorities of the Environmental Caucus

Please submit testimony in support of bills to be heard on Monday that will fund the DLNR’s watershed protection and invasive species control initiatives:

1.    HB 935 Re Conveyance Tax.  This Administration supported bill proposes to increase conveyance tax rates on properties ≥$2M to fund watershed protection and invasive species control.  Here are the particulars for Monday’s hearing:

ü  Bill text/status: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=935

ü  Hearing notice: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/hearingnotices/HEARING_HSG_02-11-13_.HTM

ü  Submit testimony: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx

2.    HB 357 Bag Fee. This Administration supported bill would place a 10¢ fee on single-use paper and plastic bags with 80% of the revenue going to the DLNR for watersheds and invasives.  The CPC hearing notice is not posted yet, but I will send that as soon as it is.

Talking Points:


·         The Rain Follows the Forest initiative is working to ensure fresh water is available for the people of Hawai‘i in perpetuity by protecting our watershed forests, a central goal of A New Day in Hawai‘i plan.

·         Healthy forests that are not overrun by invasive species efficiently capture and deliver fresh water into streams and aquifers for our use.

·         By pulling moisture from passing clouds, forests can actually increase water capture up to 50% more than through rainfall alone.

·         When forests are lost or degraded, Hawai‘i loses its source of fresh water.

·         More than half of Hawaii’s forests have been lost.  Historically, the threat was overharvesting and development.  Today’s threat is invasive plants and animals.

·         The longer we wait to take significant action, the higher the cost will be to reverse the damage, thereby threatening water supplies for future generations.

·         Forests also help mitigate erosion and runoff into our precious streams and coastlines.

·         Healthy forests will become even more critical as we experience the likely effects of climate change, including more severe storms but overall less rainfall, and temperature changes that may benefit invasive pests.

·         The conveyance tax bill would support this watershed protection through essential forest management programs, invasive species control, land acquisition, and other conservation programs.

·         The development and sale of real estate helps drive Hawaii’s economy, but it also puts pressure on our natural resources.  It makes sense to spend a portion of conveyance tax revenue on protecting those natural resources.

·         In recent years, enormous amounts have been invested in the development and sale of real estate, and continued investment in development and construction is helping to lift our economy out of recession.  Yet, we make a comparatively tiny investment in protecting the natural resources that also drive our economy and provide benefits that allow us to survive in the middle of the vast Pacific.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 26, 2012 COMMUNITY COALITION PLEAS FOR EDUCATION AND DIALOGUE IN THE WAKE OF RECENT HAWAIIAN MONK SEAL DEATHS Honolulu, Hawai`i – In response to the series of “suspicious” Hawaiian monk seal deaths in Hawai`i, a group … Continue reading

Reminder – Food Security Form 6pm today at Olelo Mapunapuna

You are all invited to participate in a Food Security Forum this evening at 6pm at Mapunapuna Olelo, 1122 Mapunapuna Street, Honolulu, HI (808) 834-0007

Come listen to experts discuss what needs to be done to shift Hawaiiʻs agriculture from big farms, plantation style to diversified ag that grows food for Hawaii.

this can make the difference between eating and starving when our supply lines are disrupted by natural disaster, terrorism or transportation strikes.

The Environment Caucus steering committee has had several very interesting conversations about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and frankly they have changed my mind on the unknown dangers of GMOs.

This is a great article on GMOs and a very interesting blog. Read it and learn.


Earth Day 2012 – Are we up to the challenge?

“Act or die.” A pretty grave message from the very  first Earth Day in 1970…  Read more

SB2277 SD1 HD1 passes out of final committee

BACKGROUND Courtesy of David Henkin, Earth Justice In 1997, when the Legislature amended the state’s endangered species law to allow for the incidental “take” (killing, harming, wounding, and harassing) of endangered and threatened species through safe harbor agreements (SHAs) and … Continue reading

Call to action – SB 2511 SD 2 HD 2

Posted by request of Marjorie Ziegler, ED Conservation Council for Hawaii. Not a position of the Democratic Party, Environmental Caucus.

Aloha, everyone.  Please call Rep. Marcus Oshiro, Chair of House Finance Committee, at 808 586-6200 today and ask him to please schedule a hearing for SB 2511 SD 2 HD 2 (the plastic bag fee bill).  Today (Friday, March 30) is the last day for Rep. Oshiro to schedule a hearing for this important bill.  The bill has already passed four House committees and two Senate Committees.

This bill encourages folks to use reusable bags, cuts down on energy, transportation, and solid waste costs, and perhaps most importantly, helps fund the State’s new watershed protection initiative “Hahai no ka ua i ka ulu la’au” “The Rain Follows the Forest.  Currently, we protect only 10% of our essential watersheds; the initiative proposes to double that to 20% in the next 10 years – a very good start if you drink water, bathe, and care about freshwater and our forested watersheds.

Please call Rep. Oshiro now if can.  This one’s very important.  Let’s not let such a good bill get tabled by one person/committee in the legislature.  Imua!

Mahalo nui loa!