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DEM Schedules Hearings on Administrative Rule Amendments

December 21, 2021, 4:00 PM HST
* Updated December 21, 1:44 PM
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The Department of Environmental Management proposes to amend its administrative rules of practice and procedure and has scheduled hearings on the rules for Jan. 25, 2022, at West Hawaii Civic Center, Council Chambers, and Jan. 26, 2022, at the Aupuni Center conference room.

Both hearings will start at 5 p.m. Additional information about how to provide comment is provided in the attached public notice.

Rule changes are proposed in three areas:

Adding a definition of an unsecured load. Littering pollutes the ‘āina, and a large part of the problem is due to loads that are falling out of vehicles. Existing rules (7-17, 8-18, 9-27, 10-20, 11-1) authorize a $250 fine for violations of a failure to cover or secure a load, and Rule 12-3(4) authorizes the Solid Waste Division to assess an additional $25 fee for all “unsecured loads” at the West Hawai‘i Sanitary Landfill, the reload station, and the organics facilities. However, fees have not been assessed because an unsecured load is not defined. Fees and fines would help to offset costs relating to litter cleanup at all Solid Waste facilities on the island and would apply to entities that are also not in compliance with existing laws, such as HRS 291C-131(a), regarding the securing of loads. Adding this definition would assist the enforcement of these rules with the goal of ending unintended releases of waste along the roads.

Allowing trailers at certain transfer stations. The revised administrative rules that were developed in 2020 included a prohibition on all trailers at all transfer stations, and enforcement of this rule began in April 2021. Subsequent investigations verified that there were indeed safety hazards at most transfer stations, but with appropriate safeguards, policies, and physical modifications, DEM has determined it would be possible to allow trailers to return to some transfer stations, subject to conditions.

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Tipping credit for residential haulers. When Ordinance No. 2020-86 became law in 2020, it repealed a popular law that granted commercial haulers of residential waste a partial credit per household to compensate for the fact that residential customers should not be assessed commercial rates when disposing of waste through haulers. In the interim, DEM has continued to offer this credit despite it not being established in the Code or the rules. Inserting this rule would align internal policy with current practice.

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DEM will continue to examine its administrative rules in an ongoing effort to improve its ability to serve the public and maintain a clean and healthy island environment.

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