2010 Hawaii Code
269. Public Utilities Commission
§269-1 Definitions.

HI Rev Stat § 269-1 (2010 through Reg Sess) What's This?


Revision Note

Part heading added by revisor.

§269-1 Definitions. As used in this chapter:

"Agricultural activities" means a commercial agricultural, silvicultural, or aquacultural facility or pursuit conducted, in whole or in part, including the care and production of livestock and livestock products, poultry and poultry products, apiary products, and plant and animal production for nonfood uses; the planting, cultivating, harvesting, and processing of crops; and the farming or ranching of any plant or animal species in a controlled salt, brackish, or freshwater environment.

"Carrier of last resort" means a telecommunications carrier designated by the commission to provide universal service in a given local exchange service area determined to be lacking in effective competition.

"Designated local exchange service area" means an area as determined by the commission to be best served by designating a carrier of last resort pursuant to section 269-43.

"Enforcement officer" means any person employed and authorized by the commission to investigate any matter on behalf of the commission. The term also means a motor vehicle safety officer employed and assigned, pursuant to section 271-38, by the department of transportation to enforce sections 271-8, 271-12, 271-13, 271-19, and 271-29 through assessment of civil penalties as provided in section 271-27(h), (i), and (j).

"Public highways" has the meaning defined by section 264-1, including both state and county highways, but operation upon rails shall not be deemed transportation on public highways.

"Public utility":

(1) Includes every person who may own, control, operate, or manage as owner, lessee, trustee, receiver, or otherwise, whether under a franchise, charter, license, articles of association, or otherwise, any plant or equipment, or any part thereof, directly or indirectly for public use, for the transportation of passengers or freight, or the conveyance or transmission of telecommunications messages, or the furnishing of facilities for the transmission of intelligence by electricity by land or water or air within the State, or between points within the State, or for the production, conveyance, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of light, power, heat, cold, water, gas, or oil, or for the storage or warehousing of goods, or the disposal of sewage; provided that the term shall include:

(A) Any person insofar as that person owns or operates a private sewer company or sewer facility; and

(B) Any telecommunications carrier or telecommunications common carrier;

(2) Shall not include:

(A) Any person insofar as that person owns or operates an aerial transportation enterprise;

(B) Persons owning or operating taxicabs, as defined in this section;

(C) Common carriers transporting only freight on the public highways, unless operating within localities or along routes or between points that the public utilities commission finds to be inadequately serviced without regulation under this chapter;

(D) Persons engaged in the business of warehousing or storage unless the commission finds that regulation thereof is necessary in the public interest;

(E) The business of any carrier by water to the extent that the carrier enters into private contracts for towage, salvage, hauling, or carriage between points within the State and the carriage is not pursuant to either an established schedule or an undertaking to perform carriage services on behalf of the public generally;

(F) The business of any carrier by water, substantially engaged in interstate or foreign commerce, transporting passengers on luxury cruises between points within the State or on luxury round-trip cruises returning to the point of departure;

(G) Any person who:

(i) Controls, operates, or manages plants or facilities for the production, transmission, or furnishing of power primarily or entirely from nonfossil fuel sources; and

(ii) Provides, sells, or transmits all of that power, except such power as is used in its own internal operations, directly to a public utility for transmission to the public;

(H) A telecommunications provider only to the extent determined by the commission pursuant to section 269-16.9;

(I) Any person who controls, operates, or manages plants or facilities developed pursuant to chapter 167 for conveying, distributing, and transmitting water for irrigation and such other purposes that shall be held for public use and purpose;

(J) Any person who owns, controls, operates, or manages plants or facilities for the reclamation of wastewater; provided that:

(i) The services of the facility shall be provided pursuant to a service contract between the person and a state or county agency and at least ten per cent of the wastewater processed is used directly by the State or county which has entered into the service contract;

(ii) The primary function of the facility shall be the processing of secondary treated wastewater that has been produced by a municipal wastewater treatment facility that is owned by a state or county agency;

(iii) The facility shall not make sales of water to residential customers;

(iv) The facility may distribute and sell recycled or reclaimed water to entities not covered by a state or county service contract; provided that, in the absence of regulatory oversight and direct competition, the distribution and sale of recycled or reclaimed water shall be voluntary and its pricing fair and reasonable. For purposes of this subparagraph, "recycled water" and "reclaimed water" means treated wastewater that by design is intended or used for a beneficial purpose; and

(v) The facility shall not be engaged, either directly or indirectly, in the processing of food wastes;

(K) Any person who owns, controls, operates, or manages any seawater air conditioning district cooling project; provided that at least fifty per cent of the energy required for the seawater air conditioning district cooling system is provided by a renewable energy resource, such as cold, deep seawater; and

(L) Any person who owns, controls, operates, or manages plants or facilities primarily used to charge or discharge a vehicle battery that provides power for vehicle propulsion.

If the application of this chapter is ordered by the commission in any case provided in paragraphs (2)(C), (2)(D), (2)(H), and (2)(I), the business of any public utility that presents evidence of bona fide operation on the date of the commencement of the proceedings resulting in the order shall be presumed to be necessary to public convenience and necessity, but any certificate issued under this proviso shall nevertheless be subject to such terms and conditions as the commission may prescribe, as provided in sections 269-16.9 and 269-20.

"Taxicab" means and includes:

(1) Any motor vehicle used in the movement of passengers on the public highways under the following circumstances, namely, the passenger hires the vehicle on call or at a fixed stand, with or without baggage for transportation, and controls the vehicle to the passenger's destination; and

(2) Any motor vehicle having seating accommodations for eight or less passengers used in the movement of passengers on the public highways between a terminal, i.e., a fixed stand, in the city of Honolulu, and a terminal in a geographical district outside the limits of the city of Honolulu, and vice versa, without picking up passengers other than at the terminals or fixed stands; provided that passengers may be unloaded at any point between terminals; and provided further that this definition relating to motor vehicles operating between terminals shall pertain only to those motor vehicles whose operators or owners were duly licensed (under section 445-222 and any other applicable provision of law or ordinance) and doing business between such terminals on January 1, 1957.

"Telecommunications carrier" or "telecommunications common carrier" means any person that owns, operates, manages, or controls any facility used to furnish telecommunications services for profit to the public, or to classes of users as to be effectively available to the public, engaged in the provision of services, such as voice, data, image, graphics, and video services, that make use of all or part of their transmission facilities, switches, broadcast equipment, signalling, or control devices.

"Telecommunications service" or "telecommunications" means the offering of transmission between or among points specified by a user, of information of the user's choosing, including voice, data, image, graphics, and video without change in the form or content of the information, as sent and received, by means of electromagnetic transmission, or other similarly capable means of transmission, with or without benefit of any closed transmission medium, and does not include cable service as defined in section 440G-3. [L 1913, c 89, §18; RL 1925, §2208; am L 1927, c 100, §1; am L 1933, c 169, §6 and c 202, §1; am L Sp 1933, c 32, §2; RL 1935, §7940; RL 1945, §4701; am L 1949, c 366, §1; am L Sp 1949, c 65, §1; RL 1955, §104-1; am L 1957, c 151, §1; HRS §269-1; am L 1969, c 30, §1; am L 1974, c 59, §2; am L 1977, c 102, §2; am L 1980, c 77, §2; am L 1981, c 167, §1; am L 1984, c 95, §4; am L 1990, c 49, §3; am L 1991, c 57, §1; am L 1994, c 264, §2; am L 1995, c 105, §§2, 7 and c 225, §3; am L 1996, c 102, §1 and c 205, §3; am L 1997, c 120, §6; am L 1998, c 11, §16; am L 1999, c 255, §1; am L 2001, c 272, §7; am L 2005, c 22, §9 and c 164, §2; am L 2008, c 169, §3; am L 2009, c 156, §5]


Section 445-222 referred to in definition of "taxicab" is repealed.

Cross References

Disposition of public lands, see §171-95.

Franchise tax, see chapter 240.

Public service company tax, see chapter 239.

Attorney General Opinions

Channels for transmission of audio and video signals provided by telephone company are subject to PUC jurisdiction. Att. Gen. Op. 65-12.

Producers supplying electrical energy to electric utilities for general public consumption are subject to PUC regulation. Att. Gen. Op. 65-23.

Public utilities commission may regulate community antenna television systems as public utilities. Att. Gen. Op. 69-29.

Statute which would include newspapers within definition of public utility and subject them to PUC jurisdiction would be violative of freedom of the press. Att. Gen. Op. 74-11.

"Rate" includes "rate schedule". Att. Gen. Op. 76-1.

Case Notes

Meaning of "taxicab" under former law. 41 H. 398.

Ownership of property "indirectly for public use," discussed. 56 H. 115, 530 P.2d 742.

Termination of service to public effect on status as public utility. 56 H. 115, 530 P.2d 742.

Entity was not a public utility. 67 H. 342, 686 P.2d 831.

Cited: 100 F. Supp. 164; 24 H. 136, 141; 32 H. 51, 55; 32 H. 127, 130; 34 H. 269, 270, aff'd 105 F.2d 286; 40 H. 579, 581; 41 H. 615, 616; 43 H. 216; 44 H. 634, 638, 361 P.2d 390.

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