Just in ... Environmental review in Hawaii

Report to the Legislature on Hawaii's Environmental Review System, by Karl Kim, Denise Antolini, and Peter Rappa, was prepared in response to the passage of Act 1 by the Legislature in 2008. Section 10 therein required the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) to contract with the University of Hawaii (UH) to study the State's environmental review process, specifically:
  1. Examine the effectiveness of the current environmental review system created by chapters 341, 343, and 344, Hawaii Revised Statutes;
  2. Assess the unique environmental, economic, social, and cultural issues in Hawaii that should be incorporated into an environmental review system;
  3. Address larger concerns and interests related to sustainable development, global environmental change, and disaster-risk reduction; and
  4. Develop a strategy, including legislative recommendations, for modernizing Hawaii's environmental review system so that it meets international and national best-practices standards.
From the report's executive summary:
Hawaii’s "trigger" and "exempt" approach is now archaic compared to the more efficient "discretionary approval" approach used in many other states and the focus on "major" actions under well-accepted federal law. The diverse group of stakeholders of the current system, of whom over 100 participated in this study, has different views about the specific problem and solutions, yet there is a shared sense that the system is in need of change.

The report proposes that Hawaii update, refocus, and streamline its environmental review system by replacing the current "project trigger" screen, which encourages late review and 11th hour public participation, with a new "earliest discretionary approval" screen to encourage early review and public participation.
An omnibus bill to amend chapters 341 and 343 is included.

Report to the Legislature on Hawaii's Environmental Review System (pdf, 180pp/1.6MB), Jan. 2010
KFH354 K55 2010

The UH Study Team has a blog on this project.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home