HONOLULU (AP) - Certain construction projects would be exempt from environmental impact study requirements under a bill that passed the state House on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 755 seeks to fast-track certain projects by exempting them from state environmental regulations. The intent is to get construction workers back on the job.
Supporters say the bill eliminates redundancies between state and federal environmental regulations. Rep. Angus McKelvey of Maui noted it's a way to expedite important projects without having to resort to an emergency proclamation.
However, opponents worry the exemptions are so broad that projects might proceed without analyzing their potential impacts on natural, historic and cultural resources.
House Bill 755 passed 31-20 and is headed to conference committee. Earlier the House narrowly passed Senate Bill 2927, which would allow zoning exemptions for certain transit-oriented projects.