Hawaii EA EI Statement Laws
Hawaii Environmental Assessment/Environmental Impact Statement Laws
It is highly recommended that every renewable energy developer considering leasing government land thoroughly review the statutory requirement outlined under Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 343 pertaining to conducting mandatory environmental assessments and if further required, environmental impact statements.
Further guidance on these processes is provided by the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) which is under the State of Hawaii Department of Health. The completion and approval of either one or both of these reports is required prior to engaging in the development of the subject property. Recently, the passage of Act 172 (PDF) will allow specific agencies greater flexibility in independently evaluating and allowing certain projects to proceed with just an environmental impact statement, bypassing the additional environmental assessment report and saving valuable project time.
These professional assessments and reports, conducted by independent environmental consultants, can be costly and can significantly push back project timelines to commercialization. It is imperative that a project developer anticipates and accounts for these required elements when in pursuit of leasing government land. Below is a summary of the the types of actions that require adherence to HRS 343.
.§343-5 Applicability and requirements. (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)(11) or 205-4.5(a)(13) 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; and
(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.
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