Hawaii Greenhouse Gas Rules Missing In Action
Four years after Hawaii passed landmark legislation to establish enforceable caps on greenhouse gas emissions, the state health department still hasn’t come up with the rules to implement the law.
The Department of Health is facing a December 2011 statutory deadline to finalize rules, but Priscilla Ligh, an environmental engineer tasked with writing the rules, said that the department would “probably not” meet the deadline.
“I don’t want to blame anyone, it’s just circumstances,” said Ligh. “I think there were good intentions with Act 234.”
Passed in 2007, Act 234 aimed to place Hawaii “among the nation’s leaders in efforts to effect a climate change policy.” The law stresses the threats that global warming poses to the state’s economic well-being, public health, natural resources and environment.
Hawaii was the second state in the country to pass such legislation, following California. While California implemented rules last year, Hawaii’s DOH hasn’t gotten very far.