Ms. Salmonson is infamous for her involvement in the Superferry debacle. She approved the Department of Transportation’s request to exempt the Superferry from environmental review. In reviewing that decision, Hawaii’s Environmental Council voted 9 – 1 that the exemption was inappropriately applied. Ms. Salmonson, as a voting member of that Environmental Council, was the single “nay” vote in opposition. The Supreme Court of Hawaii also unanimously concluded Ms. Salmonson was wrong.
If Ms. Salmonson had asked the right questions and determined that an EIS was necessary, this sordid episode in Hawaii’s history may never have happened and the state might have saved millions of dollars.
The Office of Environmental Quality Control, which is charged with protecting Hawaii’s environmental quality and resolving public concerns, suffers from a clear lack of quality leadership. It has been unable to pass administrative rules in over a decade and has not substantively updated Hawaii’s environmental review laws in years. Ms. Salmonson, who has served in this office previously for two terms, cannot provide the leadership needed nor inspire public confidence in her ability to fairly hear and resolve environmental concerns.
Putting the right people in office is one the key functions of a well-functioning democracy. Please ask your Senator to ensure that someone who understands the law and can build public trust is appointed. Ask them to say “no” to Ms. Salmonson as OEQC Director.