Environmental Impact Statements
Requires an environmental assessment for harbor improvements using public moneys; clarifies that traffic congestion is to be considered in an environmental impact statement process; requires the preparation of an environmental impact statement for the Hawaii superferry project; requires work to cease on Hawaii superferry until an environmental impact statement is accepted; makes appropriation to department of transportation to prepare an environmental impact statement.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2007
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that state commercial harbor improvements should comply with the environmental review process. The legislature also finds that there is no specific provision under current law for an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement for harbor improvements.
The legislature further finds that harbor improvements necessarily involve shipping activities and that new maritime shipping activities could have serious effects on vehicular traffic, transport of non-native species between islands, introduction of invasive plant and animal species, collision with whales, and increased warehousing at the harbors, among other issues, all of which have economic or environmental consequences that come within the scope of issues to be reviewed under the environmental impact statement law.
The purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Add construction of infrastructure improvements to harbor facilities to the triggers for an environmental assessment;
(2) Add to the definition of "environmental impact statements" traffic congestion effects as a factor to consider in a proposed action;
(3) Require the preparation of an environmental impact statement for the Hawaii superferry;
(4) Require that the department of transportation cease further construction of improvements at Kahului harbor and that the Hawaii superferry refrain from commencing operations, until a final environmental impact statement is accepted; and
(5) Make an appropriation to the department of transportation to prepare an environmental impact statement.
SECTION 2. Section 343-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "environmental impact statement" or "statement" to read as follows:
statement" or "statement" means an informational document prepared
in compliance with the rules adopted under section 343-6 and [
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, effects on traffic congestion and infrastructure in the
surrounding areas, 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."
SECTION 3. 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 that:
(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 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; provided further that an environmental assessment for proposed uses under section 205-2(d)(9) or 205-4.5(a)(12) shall only be required pursuant to section 205-5(b);
(2) Propose any use within any land classified as a conservation district by the state land use commission under chapter 205;
(3) Propose any use within a 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 the 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 a conservation district by the state land use commission under chapter 205;
(8) Propose the construction of new or the expansion or modification of existing helicopter facilities within the State, that by way of their activities, may affect:
(A) Any land classified as a conservation district by the state land use commission under chapter 205;
(B) A shoreline area as defined in section 205A‑41; or
(C) 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 that is
found by a field reconnaissance of the area affected by the helicopter facility
and is under consideration for placement on the National Register or the Hawaii
Register of Historic Places; [
(9) Propose any:
(A) Wastewater treatment unit, except an individual wastewater system or a wastewater treatment unit serving fewer than fifty single‑family dwellings or the equivalent;
(B) Waste‑to‑energy facility;
(D) Oil refinery; or
(E) Power‑generating facility[
(10) Propose any new or additional use of state commercial harbor facilities requiring construction or addition of improvements where the expenditure of public moneys on the construction or addition is not less than $2,000,000; provided that the environmental assessment shall include the environmental effects from any additional vessels using the facilities within a twenty-four month period following completion of construction; provided further that this paragraph shall not apply to repairs for damage caused by a natural disaster."
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding the requirement of a prior environmental assessment under section 343-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, an environmental impact statement, including but not limited to the effects on traffic in the surrounding streets to Kahului harbor, shall be prepared by the department of transportation for the Hawaii superferry in compliance with chapter 343, Hawaii Revised Statutes, without regard to the:
(1) The date of commencement of construction of improvements by the department of transportation;
(2) The date or amount of expenditure of public moneys for the capital improvement project; and
(3) The date of implementation of the proposed action by Hawaii superferry, notwithstanding any law to the contrary requiring the completion of a final statement as a condition precedent to the implementation of the proposed action as provided under section 343-5(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes.
SECTION 5. Until a final environmental impact statement is prepared pursuant to section 4 of this Act, and is accepted by the governor or the governor's authorized representative pursuant to section 343-5(b)(2), Hawaii Revised Statutes:
(1) The department of transportation shall cease further construction of improvements at Kahului harbor; and
(2) Hawaii superferry shall not commence operations. SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the harbor special fund, created under section 266-19, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the sum of $ , or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007-2008, to prepare an environmental impact statement pursuant to section 4 of this Act.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of transportation for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that section 6 shall take effect on July 1, 2007.