Environmental, Archaeological and Cultural
A Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) was conducted in late 2019, which provides a high-level review of pre-existing environmental conditions, and potential short- and long-term impacts associated with the proposed Project in a variety of environmental areas, including: air quality, wildlife, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, natural hazards, noise, traffic, socio-economic characteristics, visual impacts, hazardous waste, water quality, public safety, and recreation.
The Preliminary EA identifies areas in which further study is required and will form the basis of our environmental program going forward. These studies will include general and detailed plant and wildlife surveys, wetland and waterways assessments, archaeological and cultural impact assessments, visual impact and glare analyses, and traffic and noise studies.
For the regulatory and permitting processes, independent third-party qualified professionals will conduct these studies and prepare the reports that will be submitted for regulatory review and approval. Once available, the results will be shared with the community at future public meetings.
Based on the existing information available, the following permits will likely be required to construct and operate the Project. Through engagement with regulatory agencies and officials and various studies and analyses, the list will be refined as needed.
- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review (if Navy lands are used for access or transmission);
- Including Section 106 Compliance and Coastal Zone Management (CZM) federal consistency concurrence.
- Hawai’i Environmental Policy Act (HEPA) environmental review under HRS Chapter 343;
- Community Development District (CDD) / Hawai’i Community Development Authority (HCDA) Development Permit (Parcels 38A, 38B, and 40);
- CDD/HCDA Conditional Use Permit (Parcel 38A);
- Hawai’i Revised Statute (HRS) Chapter 6 E compliance, including State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) review and approval of Archaeological Inventory Survey (AIS);
- CWA §402 National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) General Stormwater Permit from Hawai’i Department of Health (HDOH);
- Federal Aviation Administration Determination of No Hazard;
- Construction Noise Permit from HDOH;
- Easement for Use of Coral Sea Road Right-of-Way;
- Grading, grubbing, building, and electrical permits from Honolulu County.
Previous archaeological investigations have been undertaken in the Project area beginning in 1991 as part of larger studies associated with former U.S. Navy actions. Previous studies identified five known archaeological sites within the Project area parcels.
These sites include:
- habitation and agricultural complexes that include rock walls;
- modified and unmodified sinkholes;
- stone enclosures;
- a homestead; and
- military-associated features.
No known burials have been previously found within the Project area.
Once the Project area boundary is finalized (which will include all Project activities that may require ground disturbance), an archaeological consultant will initiate consultation with SHPD and will complete a supplemental archaeological investigation survey (AIS) of the Project area. The AIS will include a comprehensive field study documenting all of the extant archaeological features within the Project area and reassess the significance of such resources, as well as new treatment recommendations for all of the documented sites.
As part of the archaeological resource support, the archaeological consultant will also determine the presence or absence of cultural practices or traditionally-significant cultural places within the Project area and vicinity. Background research and (if appropriate) ethnographic interviews with knowledgeable native Hawaiians will be conducted to determine if there are any known significant sites in or near the Project area. If cultural practices or traditionally-significant cultural places are identified within the Project area or within the vicinity of the Project, Innergex will work with the consultants to assess potential Project impact to these sites and associated avoidance or mitigation measures. This will be detailed in a Cultural Impact Assessment.