181             
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.R. NO.              
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE  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 
34   
35        WHEREAS, that application triggered the Hawaii Revised
36   Statutes Chapter 343 requirements for the preparation of an
37   environmental impact statement, and the Draft Environmental

 
Page 2                                   181               
                                  H.R. NO.              
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   Impact Statement (DEIS) was released by HECO for public comment
 2   in June 1998, and more than 3,000 comments in opposition were
 3   submitted by the August 7, 1998, deadline by members of the
 4   public, all of which HECO is required to respond to; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, the public has expressed strong concerns
 7   including, but not limited to, the alleged need for the
 8   proposed project, the routing and manner of placement of the
 9   project if needed, long term financial and aesthetic impacts,
10   destruction of viewplanes, scenic and recreational resources,
11   health effects of electric and magnetic field (EMF) exposure,
12   desecration of culturally significant sites, preservation of
13   habitat and species, and economic impacts on the visitor and
14   film industries; and
15   
16        WHEREAS, HECO filed its Final Environmental Impact
17   Statement (FEIS) for the Kamoku-Pukele 138,000 volt
18   transmission line project on December 16, 1998 with the
19   Department of Land and Natural Resources, which subsequently
20   rejected the FEIS on January 29, 1999, as presently inadequate
21   on the basis that HECO had failed to:
22   
23        (1)  Account for preservation of rare tree species found
24             on Wa'ahila Ridge; and
25   
26        (2)  Adequately respond to all of the public comments
27             received;
28   
29   and
30   
31        WHEREAS, the need for the Kamoku-Pukele 138,000 volt
32   transmission line project has never been directly addressed or
33   evaluated by the Public Utilities Commission or through the
34   environmental impact statement process, no docket has yet been
35   opened specifically concerning the project, and it "is a
36   separate and distinct project from the construction of other
37   HECO transmission lines" (FEIS, Appendix N, Response to
38   Comments of The Outdoor Circle, page 19, question 64); and
39   
40        WHEREAS, the DEIS and FEIS contain conflicting information
41   concerning the issue of need, and HECO has implied (but did not
42   explicitly state) in the DEIS that the three Oahu blackouts
43   which occurred in 1988, 1991, and 1993 (and which involved
44   overhead transmission lines) would have been prevented by the
45   Kamoku-Pukele line; and

 
 
Page 3                                   181               
                                  H.R. NO.              
                                                        
                                                        

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

 
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                                  H.R. NO.              
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1        (3)  An evaluation of other system-wide improvement
 2             alternatives and technological alternatives to the
 3             Kamoku-Pukele project;
 4   
 5        (4)  An analysis of the total costs of the project for the
 6             planned life of the project, including construction
 7             costs, maintenance costs, revenue requirements, debt
 8             servicing, and non-pecuniary costs; and
 9   
10        (5)  A comparison of these costs to the anticipated
11             benefits of the Kamoku-Pukele 138,000 volt
12             transmission line project;
13   
14   and
15   
16        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Public Utilities
17   Commission in conducting this need docket shall consult with
18   appropriate governmental agencies and private entities, and
19   shall consider the opinions of independent experts, such as the
20   Rocky Mountain Institute and the Natural Resources Defense
21   Council, in addition to the experts provided by HECO; and
22   
23        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Public Utilities
24   Commission is requested to submit a report concerning the
25   status of this need docket and any findings and recommendations
26   to the Legislature not later than twenty calendar days prior to
27   the convening of the Regular Session of 2000; and
28   
29        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
30   Resolution be transmitted to the Public Utilities Commission,
31   Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., the Governor, the Lieutenant
32   Governor, the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, all
33   members of the Honolulu City Council, each Oahu Neighborhood
34   Board, the Consumer Advocate, the Department of Land and
35   Natural Resources, the Director of the Office of Environmental
36   Quality Control, the Board of Regents and the President of the
37   University of Hawaii, the President of the Associated Students
38   of the University of Hawaii, Life of the Land, The Outdoor
39   Circle, Malama o Manoa, Saint Louis Heights Community
40   Association, Ho'olaulima o Palolo, Safe Power Action Network,
41   `Ilio`ulaokalani Coalition, Sierra Club, Honolulu Chapter,
42   League of Women Voters of Honolulu, Historic Hawaii Foundation,
43   Natural Resources Defense Council, and Rocky Mountain
44   Institute.
45 
46 
47 
48                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________