§343-2  Definitions.  As used in this chapter unless the context otherwise requires:

     "Acceptance" means a formal determination that the document required to be filed pursuant to section 343-5 fulfills the definition of an environmental impact statement, adequately describes identifiable environmental impacts, and satisfactorily responds to comments received during the review of the statement.

     "Action" means any program or project to be initiated by any agency or applicant.

     "Agency" means any department, office, board, or commission of the state or county government which is a part of the executive branch of that government.

     "Applicant" means any person who, pursuant to statute, ordinance, or rule, officially requests approval for a proposed action.

     "Approval" means a discretionary consent required from an agency prior to actual implementation of an action.

     "Council" means the environmental council.

     "Discretionary consent" means a consent, sanction, or recommendation from an agency for which judgment and free will may be exercised by the issuing agency, as distinguished from a ministerial consent.

     "Environmental assessment" means a written evaluation to determine whether an action may have a significant effect.

     "Environmental impact statement" or "statement" means an informational document prepared in compliance with the rules adopted under section 343-6 and which discloses the environmental effects of a proposed action, effects of a proposed action on the economic welfare, social welfare, and cultural practices of the community and State, effects of the economic activities arising out of the proposed action, measures proposed to minimize adverse effects, and alternatives to the action and their environmental effects.

     The initial statement filed for public review shall be referred to as the draft statement and shall be distinguished from the final statement which is the document that has incorporated the public's comments and the responses to those comments.  The final statement is the document that shall be evaluated for acceptability by the respective accepting authority.

     "Finding of no significant impact" means a determination based on an environmental assessment that the subject action will not have a significant effect and, therefore, will not require the preparation of an environmental impact statement.

     "Helicopter facility" means any area of land or water which is used, or intended for use for the landing or takeoff of helicopters; and any appurtenant areas which are used, or intended for use for helicopter related activities or rights-of-way.

     "Office" means the office of environmental quality control.

     "Person" includes any individual, partnership, firm, association, trust, estate, private corporation, or other legal entity other than an agency.

     "Power-generating facility" means:

     (1)  A new, fossil-fueled, electricity-generating facility, where the electrical output rating of the new equipment exceeds 5.0 megawatts; or

     (2)  An expansion in generating capacity of an existing, fossil-fueled, electricity-generating facility, where the incremental electrical output rating of the new equipment exceeds 5.0 megawatts.

     "Renewable energy facility".  DELETED.

     "Significant effect" means the sum of effects on the quality of the environment, including actions that irrevocably commit a natural resource, curtail the range of beneficial uses of the environment, are contrary to the State's environmental policies or long-term environmental goals as established by law, or adversely affect the economic welfare, social welfare, or cultural practices of the community and State.

     "Wastewater treatment unit" means any plant or facility used in the treatment of wastewater. [L 1974, c 246, pt of §1; am and ren L 1979, c 197, §1(2); am L 1983, c 140, §5; am L 1986, c 186, §1; am L 1987, c 187, §1 and c 325, §2; am L 1996, c 61, §1; am L 2000, c 50, §2; am L 2004, c 55, §2; am L 2005, c 130, §2; am L 2008, c 207, §3; am L 2016, c 27, §4]


Attorney General Opinions


  "Action" includes a subdivision proposal.  Att. Gen. Op. 75-14.

  "Action" includes issuance of building permits.  Att. Gen. Op. 75-15.


Law Journals and Reviews


  Determining the Expiration Date of an Environmental Impact Statement:  When to Supplement a Stale EIS in Hawai`i.  35 UH L. Rev. 249 (2013).


Case Notes


  Sufficiency of an environmental impact statement.  59 H. 156, 577 P.2d 1116.

  Sufficiency of an environmental impact statement is a question of law.  81 H. 171, 914 P.2d 1364.

  The proper inquiry for determining the necessity of an environmental impact statement (EIS) based on the language of §343-5(c) is whether the proposed action will "likely" have a significant effect on the environment; as defined in this section, "significant effect" includes irrevocable commitment of natural resources; where the burning of thousands of gallons of fuel and the withdrawal of millions of gallons of groundwater on a daily basis would "likely" cause such irrevocable commitment, an EIS was required pursuant to both the common meaning of "may" and the statutory definition of "significant effect".  106 H. 270, 103 P.3d 939.

  Where record in the case showed no substantive change in   the project, nor any evidence that the subdivision application proposed "any use within a shoreline area as defined in §205A-41", as required in §343-5(a)(3), thereby making the subdivision application an "action" under this section that required a supplemental environmental impact statement, once the environmental impact statement had been accepted, no other statement for the proposed project was required under §343-5(g).  120 H. 457 (App.), 209 P.3d 1271.

  Cited:  134 H. 86 (App.), 332 P.3d 688 (2014).



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