Establishing an Environmental Court in Hawaii to improve enforcement of current environmental laws is a top priority for the members of The Outdoor Circle. Today, SB632, one of the bills proposing to do just that, is working its way through the state legislative process -- this is the farthest this bill has ever gotten! Now is our chance to demonstrate to legislators the vast public support for improving environmental protection in Hawaii with this important tool.
This bill has made its way through a gauntlet of committee hearings at the Hawaii State Legislature and is in a good position to be passed by legislators this session. You can help make it happen by submitting testimony in support of SB632 to the Senators and Representatives of the Hawaii State Legislature today. Below you will find a sample testimony that you can make your own and email addresses for all state elected officials.
People power works!
After years of lagging before the state Legislature in various forms, the Environmental Court concept is finally getting heard. Thanks to the combined efforts of The Outdoor Circle, Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful, students at UH's Richardson School of Law, and many concerned residents throughout Hawaii and abroad. Good work everyone! But we still have another lap to go -- we can't let up on the pressure yet.
Please forward this post to your family, friends, and co-workers. We all benefit from a clearer, more healthy environment. SB 632 will help make that happen! Post it on Facebook, send it out on twitter (#EcoCourt), call your neighbors, do whatever you can to help grow this movement and pass SB 632.
(modify this to make it unique and more effective)
Aloha Senators and Representatives,
Thank you for this opportunity to testify in strong support of SB 632 to establish an Environmental Court in the State of Hawaii.
As a society, we in Hawaii value our natural environment above most other things. We enshrined in our constitution that all residents have a right to a "clean and healthful environment." We departments at the state and county levels entrusted with protecting our natural resources for use now and forever into the future.
Yet, enforcement against violations of our environmental laws is often inconsistent between courts. This fosters confusion, undermines compliance, and fuels further litigation. Environmental statutes and regulations are sometimes very technical and require considerable study before judges are equipped to rule in these cases.
Establishing a section of our state court system to adjudicate violations of our environmental laws will help to improve enforcement of these laws. Improved enforcement will lead to reliability in the interpretation of and better compliance with environmental laws. This will mean a clearer environment and better public health for all residents of Hawaii.
This is why I urge you to pass SB 632.
First and Last Name
Send Your Testimony
Send your email to all Senators and all Representatives in the State Legislature by addressing your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
To learn about the international movement to establish Environmental Courts, visit to European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment at www.eufje.org. Check out their thorough report on the topic, called: "Greening Justice".
The Greenleaf is the online newsletter and blog of The Outdoor Circle. Here you will find updates on the projects and accomplishments of our many branches throughout the state, as well as programs with statewide impact.