President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. referred back to congress for further action Senate bill 10-24, SD2, CD1,PD1, a bill to require future development projects to submit a health and social impacts statements.

The bill states that “The Olbiil Era Kelulau recognizes the profound impact of development activities on the overall health and social wellbeing of the citizens and population of the Republic. The Olbiil Era Kelulau further recognizes the critical importance of maintaining a healthy environment which is conducive to the overall health, welfare, and development of the Republic’s population.”

In the referral letter to both House and Senate, Remengesau said he supported the “spirit and goal of this legislation” however he cautioned that new requirements will “needlessly increase the cost of development.”

Under the PD1 version, President Remengesau added the mandate to the existing processes under the Environment Quality Protection Board.  EQPB will mandate in its regulations that all Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements will include health and social impact statements which will be then given to the Ministry of Health for evaluation.

The President’s version states that EQPB will provide the Ministry of Health copies of EAs or EIS for review and MOH will provide a report that indicates the health and social impact of the development project to EQPB before it is approved.

President’s version of the bill (PD1) will go to both houses of OEK, if approved, it will be sent back for President’s signature for it to become law.