Business Insider has partnered with Hawaii Environmental Protection Agency to offer a guide to Hawaii’s new environmental protection laws.
Here’s what you need to know:What is Hawaii’s Environmental Protection Law?
Hawaii’s environmental law makes it a crime for businesses to discharge harmful chemicals into public waters.
That includes the chemical discharge from oil, gas and coal extraction operations.
The law does not require any particular kind of discharge.
For instance, the law does allow companies to discharge a toxic chemical into a lake or river, but it doesn’t require them to do so if the discharge is not directly related to an environmental hazard.
How does it work?
Under Hawaii’s Clean Water Act, a business that is violating the law can be fined up to $25,000 per violation and/or receive up to two years in jail.
If the company doesn’t comply with the law, it can be sued for up to a maximum of $500,000 for each violation.
The business must also be fined $10,000 and/and the owner of the property must pay up to one million dollars.
What are the penalties?
In Hawaii, a fine of up to 100,000 Hawaiians or $2,500 for each day a violation is committed.
If a violation occurs after 1:00 p.m. on a Saturday or Sunday, the maximum fine is $25.
If the violation occurs on a weekday, it’s $25 per day, and a fine is capped at $1,000.
If you have any questions about this, please contact the Hawaii Environmental Department at 616-685-4111.
What can you do if you’re fined?
If you’re in Hawaii, you can ask the company to refund the fines.
You can also ask the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to take action to address the violations.
If you find the violations egregious, you could file a lawsuit.
What if I’m a nonresident and/ or a Hawaiian?
If your company is a non-resident, you have the option to pay your fines through the Hawaiian government.
However, if your company doesn’s have a local presence, you’ll have to pay through the state.
If your company’s corporate office is located in another state, you must file a claim with the Department to pay the fine.
You must also file a statement with the DLNR and pay the fines if the company hasn’t been in Hawai’i for five years.
If my business has been fined, how do I appeal?
If the violation occurred after 1 :00 p,m.
or if your violation occurred on a Friday or Saturday, you should file a request for an appeal with the Hawai’ian Land and Water Conservation Board (HLWC).
You can request an appeal online.
You’ll need to provide a copy of your application, a copy in English, and any supporting documentation.
If your business has not been in Hawaii for five or more years, you won’t be able to appeal.
How long do I have to appeal?
You can appeal a fine up to 90 days.
However it may take up to 120 days before you are able to file your appeal.
You will be able file your claim with your local attorney within 180 days after you have filed your appeal with DLNR.
If I want to appeal my fine, can I do so?
If an individual has a valid permit issued by the State of Hawaii, they can appeal their fine.
However a permit is not a substitute for legal representation.
You may file your application online, or you can visit your local district attorney’s office for help.
What about property damage and other violations?
You have the right to appeal any environmental violation to the state environmental review board.
However if your environmental violation occurs before or after 1/1/18, your company must pay the $25 fine and your company will not be able or obligated to provide legal representation to the environmental review panel.
You should also file an appeal on your own with the environmental board.
What happens if I don’t pay the fee?
If you don’t agree to pay, you may file an action with the courts to challenge the fine and/ and the amount of fines paid.
If there is a dispute as to who paid the fines, you will be required to pay up.
If this is the case, the court may order your payment of the fines to be deposited in a fund, as determined by the court.
How long will I be allowed to appeal and how much money will I have?
The deadline for an environmental review is 1/31/2022.
You are required to file an application online or you will have to send the DLRC with a copy.
If no response is received within 90 days, your appeal will be denied.
How much money is that?
The maximum amount you will need to pay is $2.25, but you may appeal the fine to the district court, the Honolulu District Court, or the Hawaii Court of Appeals. How do