Hawaii Act 178 (House Bill 243): Relating to Sea-Level Rise Adaptation

On July 2, 2021, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed into law Act 178 (House Bill 243), which directs the state’s agencies to collaborate toward identifying state facilities that are vulnerable to sea-level rise, flooding, and natural hazards (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 225M-__ (2021)). Act 178 also requires agencies to assess options to mitigate the impacts of sea-level rise to these facilities. The law affirms and updates the Hawaii Office of Planning’s role in providing “central direction and cohesion” as the leader of this interagency effort (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 225M-2 (2021)). 

Act 178 also requires the Office of Planning to submit an annual report to the governor, legislature, and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission regarding state facilities’ vulnerability assessments and progress on implementing sea-level rise resilience measures.1

Additionally, the law amends the Hawaii State Planning Act by adding sustainable development, climate change adaptation, and sea-level rise adaptation to the list of general planning and policy objectives for state facility systems (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 226-14 (2021)).

The purpose of Act 178 is to increase the resilience of existing and planned state facilities, including critical infrastructure, to climate change-related natural hazards. The law is grounded in the understanding that statewide adaptation will require comprehensive, long-term, and collective planning between state agencies with operational responsibilities over state facilities.

Publication Date: July 2, 2021

Related Organizations:

  • State of Hawaii
  • Hawaii State Office of Planning
  • Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission

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  • Laws
  • Legislation

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