Hawaii Superferry: Photo by Mel Ah Ching Productions
Hawaii Superferry: Photo by Mel Ah Ching Productions

REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH — The Hawai‘i State Environmental Council, with the assistance of the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC), has issued a draft of revised rules for the state’s environmental review process (Chapter 343, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes). The public is encouraged to view the draft rules and provide input via the comment form at http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/default.aspx

“Recent changes in the law and court decisions such as those involving the Hawai‘i Superferry and Turtle Bay highlight the need to keep Hawai‘i’s Environmental Impact Statement rules updated,” said Rules Committee Chair Scott Glenn.  “Various agencies and members of the public have requested that the Environmental Council propose draft rules as a starting point to discuss these changes, and this begins the process.”

Areas under discussion include the length of time an EIS is valid, the exemption process, and cultural impacts.  The Council’s Rules Committee anticipates holding meetings to receive public and agency input through November 15, 2012.  Formal public hearings on the proposed amendments are expected in 2013 after the current draft has been revised based on input received at the meetings.

While the Environmental Council encourages downloading the comment form and sending it to the Environmental Council, e-mail and letters are also welcome.  Please send all comments and inquiries to environmental.council@doh.hawaii.gov, or

Environmental Council
c/o Office of Environmental Quality Control
235 South Beretania St., Suite 702
Honolulu, HI 96813.

For more information on the updated rules addressing the state’s EIS process, please contact Scott Glenn, Rules Committee Chairperson, at environmental.council@doh.hawaii.gov.

Established under section 341-3 HRS, the Environmental Council, consists of up to 15 members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate.  Pursuant to section 341-6, HRS, the Council serves as a liaison between the OEQC director and the public on matters concerning ecology and environmental quality.  Members are appointed to assure a broad and balanced representation of educational, business, and environmentally relevant disciplines and professions.  The Council and OEQC are attached to the Hawai‘i State Department of Health for administrative purposes.

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