David Y. Igé | DBEDT PRESS RELEASE: HAWA STATE PLANNING OFFICE BECOMES NEW – “HAWA STATE PLANNING AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE”

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DBEDT PRESS RELEASE: HAWA STATE PLANNING OFFICE BECOMES NEW – “HAWA STATE PLANNING AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE”

Posted on Jul 2, 2021 in Latest News, Press Room

HONOLULU – Governor David Ige recently enacted Bills 1149 and 1318 as Laws 153 and 152, respectively. The two laws work together and consolidate various government land use and environmental policy functions of different agencies into the new “Planning and Sustainable Development Office”. Bill 153 administratively ties the Hawaii State Planning Commission and its staff to the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development. The State Land Use Planning Commission will continue to operate, with its nine members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate.

The primary role of the Commission is to ensure that areas of state concern are addressed and taken into account in the land use decision-making process. The Commission will continue to set district boundaries for the entire state and act on boundary change requests submitted by private landowners, developers, and state and county agencies. The Commission will also continue to respond to requests for special use permits in agricultural and rural districts.

In addition, Law 152 consolidates the Office of Environmental Quality Control, its staff and the Environment Council, renamed “Environmental Advisory Council”, within the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development. . The Office of Environmental Quality Control facilitates Hawaii’s environmental review process (commonly referred to as HEPA), in accordance with Chapter 343, Revised Statutes of Hawaii, was previously administratively attached to the Department of Health. The Office of Environmental Quality Control will be renamed “Environmental Review Program” within the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development.

Functions, rules, records, special use permits, environmental assessments, environmental impact statements, The environmental notice, and the availability and utilities of the National Land Use Commission and the Environmental Quality Control Bureau will remain in effect and unchanged. The functions, roles and responsibilities of the pre-existing programs of the Planning Office; Coastal Zone Management Program, Statewide GIS Program, Land Use Division, Special Plans Directorate and Statewide Sustainability Program will also remain in operation. force.

The purpose of this consolidation is to improve the coordination of these functions related to land use and environmental policy so that the State Government of Hawaii is working more effectively to achieve long-term sustainability goals and state climate change for a brighter future for the people of Hawaii.

This consolidation builds on the recent passage and enactment of Law 45, Session Laws of Hawai’i 2020, which formally established the statewide sustainability agenda within the Planning Bureau, and previously called on the Planning Bureau to expand its efforts and responsibilities to include state-wide sea level. increase coordination and planning and coordination of sustainability and adaptation to climate change.

“The Office of Planning and Sustainable Development will continue to actively work on planning for Hawaii’s sustainable development and climate adaptation to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations of Hawaii to meet the needs of the present. their own needs, ”said Mary Alice Evans, director of the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development. “We thank Governor Ige and the Hawaii State Legislature for this opportunity to expand, streamline and modernize our office to help the State of Hawaii prepare for and meet these development challenges. sustainability and adaptation to climate change. “

About the state of Hawaii Planning and Sustainable Development Office

The State of Hawaii Office of Planning and Sustainable Development is a state agency, administratively attached to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT), that collects, analyzes and provides information to the Governor to assist in the overall analysis and formulation of state policies and strategies. Its objective is to: (1) provide central direction and cohesion in the allocation of resources and the execution of state activities and programs; and (2) effectively address current or emerging issues and opportunities. The office works closely with local, state and federal government agencies; the University of Hawaii; and various community stakeholders to achieve these goals.

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