Hawaii’s environmental protection office closes for a week after the governor signs bill into law

Posted October 02, 2018 08:23:17 Hawaii’s Environmental Protection Office, known as the Hawaii State Department of Environmental Conservation, has shut down for the first time in its history, according to a statement from the agency.

The agency said in a statement Monday that the shutdown is necessary to improve the performance of the office, as well as to protect the environment and protect the people of Hawaii.

The Hawaii Department of Health and Hawaiian Islands Department of Water Resources said in its statement that the closure of the agency is necessary because of the state’s current fiscal challenges.

“This is a temporary decision to allow the Office to focus on its work while we review the options,” the statement said.

The governor signed into law the state environmental protection bill in January, making Hawaii the first state to enact an anti-pollution law in 50 years.

The law aims to curb the proliferation of industrial pollutants in the state, which is home to more than 40 percent of the nation’s landmass and is the fourth-largest economy in the U.S. It has attracted international attention as an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect wildlife.