Environmental Impact Statements
Requires an environmental assessment for any actions that propose any county general plan amendment or state land use commission petition to reclassify any lands which may impact any military installation.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STaTEMENT LAW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that in December 2001, the United States Congress authorized a new round of military installation and base realignments and closures to be implemented in 2005. In the past, certain base closings resulted due to the loss of efficiency or effectiveness of a military installation caused by encroachment on the installation by nearby civilian urban growth. The legislature finds that all branches of the armed forces of the United States in Hawaii are not only vital contributors to the economy of the State but are also good stewards of the lands that they occupy and good contributing members of their local communities. Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay has consistently won numerous Department of Defense awards and certificates of appreciation in the areas of environmental quality and natural resources conservation. Locally, the base at Kaneohe has consistently gained acclaim for its maintenance of wetlands on base as habitats for a number of endangered native Hawaiian water birds.
The purpose of this Act is to require the preparation of an environmental assessment for any actions that propose any amendment to existing county general plans, unless initiated by the county, or any petition to reclassify land by the state land use commission within three thousand feet of any military installation, to give decision makers full information concerning any impacts or effects a proposed action could have on a military installation.
SECTION 2. Section 343-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) Except as otherwise provided, an environmental assessment shall be required for actions [
(1) Propose the use of state or county lands or the use of state or county funds, other than funds to be used for feasibility or planning studies for possible future programs or projects [
which] that the agency has not approved, adopted, or funded, or funds to be used for the acquisition of unimproved real property; provided that the agency shall consider environmental factors and available alternatives in its feasibility or planning studies;
(2) Propose any use within any land classified as conservation district by the state land use commission under chapter 205;
(3) Propose any use within the shoreline area as defined in section 205A-41;
(4) Propose any use within any historic site as designated in the National Register or Hawaii Register as provided for in the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Public Law 89-665, or chapter 6E;
(5) Propose any use within the Waikiki area of Oahu, the boundaries of which are delineated in the land use ordinance as amended, establishing the "Waikiki Special District";
(6) Propose any amendments to existing county general plans where such amendment would result in designations other than agriculture, conservation, or preservation, except actions proposing any new county general plan or amendments to any existing county general plan initiated by a county;
(7) Propose any reclassification of any land classified as conservation district by the state land use commission under chapter 205; [
(8) Propose any amendment to existing county general plans or any petition to reclassify any lands by the state land use commission that may impact any military installation or affect the ability of the military installation to carry out its military missions; and
[(8)]] (9) Propose the construction of new, or the expansion or modification of existing, helicopter facilities within the State [ which] that, by way of their activities, may affect: any land classified as conservation district by the state land use commission under chapter 205; the shoreline area as defined in section 205A-41; [ or,] any historic site as designated in the National Register or Hawaii Register as provided for in the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Public Law 89-665, or chapter 6E; or[ ,] until the statewide historic places inventory is completed, any historic site found by a field reconnaissance of the area affected by the helicopter facility and which is under consideration for placement on the National Register or the Hawaii Register of Historic Places."
SECTION 3. Section 343-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:
""Military installation" means any base, military airport, camp, post, station, yard, center, home port facility for a ship, or any other military activity center that is under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Defense."
SECTION 4. Section 343-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:
1. By amending the definition of "environmental impact statement" or "statement" to read:
""Environmental impact statement" or "statement" means an informational document prepared in compliance with the rules adopted under section 343-6 and [
which] that discloses the environmental effects of a proposed action, effects of a proposed action on any military installation or on the ability of the military installation to carry out its military mission, 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."
2. By amending the definition of "significant effect" to read:
""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, adversely affect the operations of a military installation or its ability to carry out its military mission, or adversely affect the economic welfare, social welfare, or cultural practices of the community and State."
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.