Rep. Gene Ward Addresses SB755 – Special Management Area Permits

Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 1683-12 S.B. No. 755, S.D. 2, H.D. 3 RELATING TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. (Economic Development; Special Management Area Permits, Shoreline Setback Variances, Environmental Assessment Exemptions)
AS AMENDED, PASS THIRD READING

The purpose of this bill is to temporarily exempt airport structures and improvements from the special management area permit and shoreline setback variance requirements when the structures and improvements are necessary to comply with FAA regulations.

EC further noted that the governor, as an office of the executive branch, and therefore an agency by definition of HRS 343-2, already may establish exemption lists, albeit with the Council’s concurrence and subject to the Hawaii Administrative Rules.

This measure would provide the governor an alternative pathway to establish an exemption list that would take immediate effect upon publication in the bulletin; this could happen on July 1, 2012, the day the bill takes effect; no discussion has been held on how the governor would prepare such a list.

Limiting factors are even more pronounced for any approving state agencies as they are directly under the power of the executive; the practical effect of this is that no one will exercise oversight of the government to ensure its actions have little or no significant effects on the environment.

Contact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV

Rep. Gene Ward second time addressing SB 755 – Special Management Area Permits

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Rep. Gil Riviere addresses SB 755 -Special Management Area Permits

Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 1683-12 S.B. No. 755, S.D. 2, H.D. 3 RELATING TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. (Economic Development; Special Management Area Permits, Shoreline Setback Variances, Environmental Assessment Exemptions)
AS AMENDED, PASS THIRD READING

The purpose of this bill is to temporarily exempt airport structures and improvements from the special management area permit and shoreline setback variance requirements when the structures and improvements are necessary to comply with FAA regulations.
It is not clear whether the language in this measure empowers the Governor to establish or modify lists that apply to “classes of action” and/or the “agency specific lists” and without the support of Rules or any defined process, it is unclear as to what basis or decision making criteria will be used to determine that specific types of projects probably will have minimal or no significant impact and therefore should be added to or included on a categorical list of projects that might be considered exempt from the Chapter 343, HRS process.

There is no requirement for public or even of EC or OEQC notification of an exemption declaration and thus no way of knowing if a project is exempted or not exempt, nor whether a project has started or not and 60 days is an incredibly inadequate period of time to respond to an action when you do not know whether or not it has occurred.

EC testified that there is no requirement for public or even of EC or OEQC notification of an exemption declaration and thus no way of knowing if a project is exempted or not exempt, nor whether a project has started or not. 60 days is an incredibly inadequate period of time to respond to an action when you do not know whether or not it has occurred.

Contact repriviere@capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV

Rep. Thielen addresses SB755 – special management area permits

Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 1683-12 S.B. No. 755, S.D. 2, H.D. 3 RELATING TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. (Economic Development; Special Management Area Permits, Shoreline Setback Variances, Environmental Assessment Exemptions)
AS AMENDED, PASS THIRD READING

The purpose of this bill is to temporarily exempt airport structures and improvements from the special management area permit and shoreline setback variance requirements when the structures and improvements are necessary to comply with FAA regulations.

OEQC testified that their concerns focus primarily on the aspects that directly impact Chapter 343 HRS, the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act as its office is responsible by law to administer the environmental review requirements governing Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements.

OEQC further noted that this measure is unnecessary and because of its ambiguities, omissions and conflicting purposes will cause confusion in the manner in which Chapter 343 is interpreted and administered, which would as a result, lead to an increase in future lawsuits against the State of Hawaii;
case in point, the Sierra Club notes that on multiple occasions agencies in Hawaii failed to conduct an environmental review until legal challenges were filed (Koa Ridge, Superferry, Kahului Airport, etc.).

According to those in opposition, there is now in place an established procedure which already provides a straight forward, easy to implement exemption list process for actions/projects that are likely to have no or negligible environmental impacts.

Those in opposition also noted that projects that are expected to have a significant impact cannot and should not be exempted, and under the present law are required to complete at the minimum an Environmental Assessment; blanket exemptions assume all similar actions have equal impacts, which is a key false premise upon which these proposals listed in the bill are based.

Contact: repthielen@ capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV