197             
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
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                     HOUSE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION TO OPEN A DOCKET FOR
    THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING A THOROUGH EVALUATION OF THE
    ALLEGED NEED FOR THE HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANY'S PROPOSED
    KAMOKU-PUKELE 138,000 VOLT ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION LINE
    PROJECT IN HONOLULU. 


 1        WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO) has
 2   proposed to construct a 138,000 volt transmission line project
 3   in Honolulu from the Kamoku Substation on Date Street (east of
 4   Kapiolani Boulevard, Date Street and Kamoku Street
 5   intersection) to the Pukele Substation at the northwest corner
 6   of Palolo Valley by placement underground from Date Street to
 7   Dole Street, including traversing the University of Hawaii
 8   lower campus, and overhead from Dole Street along Wa'ahila
 9   Ridge (which separates Manoa and Palolo valleys and includes
10   the Saint Louis Heights residential community) to Pukele; and
11   
12        WHEREAS, the project was apparently first proposed in
13   1971, at a time when various factors and projections allegedly
14   reflective of long term need were dramatically different from
15   the reality of current factors and projections; and
16   
17        WHEREAS, the initial project included overhead placement
18   along Palolo Avenue and was subsequently challenged through
19   civil litigation by a coalition of various organizations within
20   the Palolo community; and
21   
22        WHEREAS, the lawsuit was eventually resolved in 1980 by a
23   settlement agreement between the Palolo community and HECO,
24   which directed that any new 138,000 volt transmission lines
25   constructed in Palolo Valley would be required to be placed
26   underground; and
27   
28        WHEREAS, HECO re-initiated efforts to develop the
29   Kamoku-Pukele project in 1992, and in November 1995 submitted a
30   Conservation District Use Application to the Department of Land
31   and Natural Resources for a permit to construct the 138,000
32   volt transmission line through the Conservation District and
33   State Recreation Area on Wa'ahila Ridge; and 

 
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 1        WHEREAS, that application triggered the Hawaii Revised
 2   Statutes Chapter 343 requirements for the preparation of an
 3   environmental impact statement, and the Draft Environmental
 4   Impact Statement (DEIS) was released by HECO for public comment
 5   in June 1998, and more than 3,000 comments in opposition were
 6   submitted by the August 7, 1998, deadline by members of the
 7   public, all of which HECO is required to respond to; and
 8   
 9        WHEREAS, the public has expressed strong concerns
10   including, but not limited to, the alleged need for the
11   proposed project, the routing and manner of placement of the
12   project if needed, long term financial and aesthetic impacts,
13   destruction of viewplanes, scenic and recreational resources,
14   health effects of electric and magnetic field (EMF) exposure,
15   desecration of culturally significant sites, preservation of
16   habitat and species, and economic impacts on the visitor and
17   film industries; and
18   
19        WHEREAS, HECO filed its Final Environmental Impact
20   Statement (FEIS) for the Kamoku-Pukele 138,000 volt
21   transmission line project on December 16, 1998 with the
22   Department of Land and Natural Resources, which subsequently
23   rejected the FEIS on January 29, 1999, as presently inadequate
24   on the basis that HECO had failed to:
25   
26        (1)  Account for preservation of rare tree species found
27             on Wa'ahila Ridge; and
28   
29        (2)  Adequately respond to all of the public comments
30             received;
31   
32   and
33   
34        WHEREAS, the need for the Kamoku-Pukele 138,000 volt
35   transmission line project has never been directly addressed or
36   evaluated by the Public Utilities Commission or through the
37   environmental impact statement process, no docket has yet been
38   opened specifically concerning the project, and it "is a
39   separate and distinct project from the construction of other
40   HECO transmission lines" (FEIS, Appendix N, Response to
41   Comments of The Outdoor Circle, page 19, question 64); and

 
 
 
 
 
 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1        WHEREAS, the DEIS and FEIS contain conflicting information
 2   concerning the issue of need, and HECO has implied (but did not
 3   explicitly state) in the DEIS that the three Oahu blackouts
 4   which occurred in 1988, 1991, and 1993 (and which involved
 5   overhead transmission lines) would have been prevented by the
 6   Kamoku-Pukele line; and
 7   
 8        WHEREAS, section 2 of the FEIS alleges that the three
 9   blackouts in 1988, 1993, and 1991 led HECO to accelerate its
10   program to strengthen the 138,000 volt transmission line system
11   on Oahu, culminating in the Kamoku-Pukele line (FEIS, pg 2-10),
12   while at the same time, the FEIS admits that the proposed
13   Kamoku-Pukele line would not have prevented these blackouts
14   (FEIS, Appendix N, Response to Comments of the Safe Power
15   Action Network, page 19, question 2-35); and
16   
17        WHEREAS, the economic and population distribution forecast
18   for Oahu and the actual demand for electrical energy is
19   dramatically different today than in 1971 and 1992; and
20   
21        WHEREAS, according to the FEIS, the revenue requirements,
22   which are defined by HECO as "the estimated amount of revenues
23   that HECO has to collect to recover the cost" of the project,
24   needed to construct the Kamoku-Pukele 138,000 volt transmission
25   line project as proposed is $145,871,000 (FEIS, Appendix N,
26   Response to Comments of the Safe Power Action Network, page
27   112, questions 3-440 & 3-442), and the cost of the proposed
28   project is approximately $30,000,000; and
29   
30        WHEREAS, HECO's cost estimate for the proposed project
31   does not include the reasonably identifiable costs of land,
32   water, air quality, oil spill, economic and native
33   Hawaiian-related impacts (FEIS, Appendix N, Response to
34   Comments of The Outdoor Circle, page 8, question 30); now,
35   therefore, 
36   
37        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
38   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
39   of 1999, the Senate concurring, that the Public Utilities
40   Commission is requested to open a docket at the earliest
41   opportunity for the purpose of thoroughly evaluating the
42   alleged need for the Hawaiian Electric Company's proposed
43   Kamoku-Pukele 138,000 volt transmission line project in
44   Honolulu, and to complete consideration of this "need docket"
45   prior to entertaining any application by HECO for approval of
46   any project details; and

 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the need docket shall include:
 2   
 3        (1)  A review of the Oahu-wide electrical transmission
 4             system;
 5   
 6        (2)  An analysis of how the project by itself may improve
 7             "reliability" (a term thus far undefined in its
 8             application to the proposed project and criteria for
 9             measurement in the context of the electric utility);
10   
11        (3)  An evaluation of other system-wide improvement
12             alternatives and technological alternatives to the
13             Kamoku-Pukele project;
14   
15        (4)  An analysis of the total costs of the project for the
16             planned life of the project, including construction
17             costs, maintenance costs, revenue requirements, debt
18             servicing, and non-pecuniary costs; and
19   
20        (5)  A comparison of these costs to the anticipated
21             benefits of the Kamoku-Pukele 138,000 volt
22             transmission line project;
23   
24   and
25   
26        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Public Utilities
27   Commission in conducting this need docket shall consult with
28   appropriate governmental agencies and private entities, and
29   shall consider the opinions of independent experts, such as the
30   Rocky Mountain Institute and the Natural Resources Defense
31   Council, in addition to the experts provided by HECO; and
32   
33        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Public Utilities
34   Commission is requested to submit a report concerning the
35   status of this need docket and any findings and recommendations
36   to the Legislature not later than twenty calendar days prior to
37   the convening of the Regular Session of 2000; and
38   
39        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
40   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Public Utilities
41   Commission, Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., the Governor, the
42   Lieutenant Governor, the Mayor of the City and County of
43   Honolulu, all members of the Honolulu City Council, each Oahu
44   Neighborhood Board, the Consumer Advocate, the Department of
45   Land and Natural Resources, the Director of the Office of

 
 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   Environmental Quality Control, the Board of Regents and the
 2   President of the University of Hawaii, the President of the
 3   Associated Students of the University of Hawaii, Life of the
 4   Land, The Outdoor Circle, Malama o Manoa, Saint Louis Heights
 5   Community Association, Ho'olaulima o Palolo, Safe Power Action
 6   Network, `Ilio`ulaokalani Coalition, Sierra Club, Honolulu
 7   Chapter, League of Women Voters of Honolulu, Historic Hawaii
 8   Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Rocky
 9   Mountain Institute.
10 
11 
12 
13                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________