Bill Text: HI SCR112 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended

Bill Title: Requesting The Auditor To Conduct A Comprehensive Performance And Management Audit Of The City And County Of Honolulu Department Of Environmental Services.

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 11-1)

Status: (Engrossed - Dead) 2019-04-25 - Received notice of disagreement (Sen. Com. No. 962). [SCR112 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SCR112-Amended.html


S.C.R. NO.



S.D. 1


H.D. 1













     WHEREAS, the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Environmental Services (ENV), is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the City and County of Honolulu's (County) wastewater infrastructure; and


     WHEREAS, ENV is tasked with overseeing the County's wastewater in a manner that meets State and Federal law governing the regulation of air, water, wastewater and solid waste to ensure the safety of both the environment and the public health; and


     WHEREAS, one of the main charters for ENV is to own and operate wastewater infrastructure for the communities it serves, and that construction of wastewater infrastructure, operations, and maintenance must meet standards established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, all applicable State laws, and any applicable rules as promulgated by the State Department of Health; and


     WHEREAS, ENV collects monthly base unit fees of approximately $80 per month from residents and commercial establishments and as a result has unrestricted access to approximately $800 million in funds resulting from these monthly fees; and


     WHEREAS, these funds should be more than sufficient to ensure the operation and maintenance of the most advanced and cost-effective technologies for the prevention of wastewater spills; and

     WHEREAS, sewer fee rates are determined in part by the means and methods of wastewater conveyance, treatment regimen, operations, maintenance, planning, and design, the role of ENV is critical to providing the greatest value for State and federal infrastructure funds; and


     WHEREAS, as mandated under the Consent Decree of 2010 ENV should be using the most advanced wastewater treatment systems that the American Society of Engineers, Hawaii Chapter, recognizes as "Best Available Technology" and using the most advanced, efficient, and cost-effective technologies as recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Hawaii Chapter (ASCE); and


     WHEREAS, in order to protect the public health, ENV should also be maintaining the highest standards of prevention in accordance with "Zero Tolerance Standards," which means no violation of State or federal laws; and


     WHEREAS, the recent low grade by the ASCE in their inaugural report card of the State's infrstructure calls for a review of the means, methods, and practices of ENV's current wastewater collection and treatment systems in its current state; and


     WHEREAS, over the last 20 years, the State Auditor has not conducted management audits of ENV in spite of numerous spills and violations; and


     WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that it is in the public interest to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of ENV to ensure it is:


     (1)  Appropriately balancing the needs of its stakeholders and residents with the ability of regulated companies to earn a reasonable rate of return;


     (2)  Strategically planning for desired results relating to utility services and investment;

     (3)  Managing the performance, professionalism, and conduct of ENV's operations, employees, and financial resources;


     (4)  Properly executing its statutory mandates; and


     (5)  Adjusting to and meeting the challenges of an evolving economic, technological, environmental, and regulatory landscape; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, the House of Representatives concurring, that the State Auditor is requested to conduct a comprehensive management audit of ENV, including but not limited to the:


     (1)  Appropriateness and applicability of current utility legislation;


     (2)  Impact on the public health and the environment of ENV's current plans and procedures with respect to violations of State and Federal laws and regulations versus a zero-tolerance policy towards violations;


     (3)  Best use of funds for wastewater treatment, including the use of the most advanced and cost-effective technologies as recognized by ASCE; and


     (4)  Best use of funds for ENV's day-to-day activities, particularly in the prevention of wastewater spills and the protection of public health and the environment; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State Auditor is requested to submit a report of findings and recommendations to the Legislature, including any proposed legislation, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2020; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, Director of Health, Director of the Department of Environmental Services of the City and County of Honolulu, and Sierra Club of Hawaii.

Report Title: 

C&C of Honolulu; Wastewater Management; Audit