Environmental, Archaeological and Cultural
A Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) was conducted in early 2018, 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 inventory survey, visual impact and glare analyses, and traffic study.
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. (2019 Waimea Community Association Project Update Presentation)
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.
- 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;
- Permit to Perform Work within State Highway Right-of-Way from HDOT, Highways Division for use and crossing of Mamalahoa Hwy;
- Plan approval, grading, grubbing, building, and electrical permits from Hawaii County.
Archaeological / Cultural
An archaeological inventory survey of approximately 363 acres of Parker Ranch lands located within the ahupua‘a of Waikoloa in the moku of South Kohala on the island of Hawai‘i [TMK (3) 6-7-001:025 por.; (3) 6-7-001:010 por.]. While a total of 18 archaeological studies have been conducted in the vicinity of the present project area east and west of Māmalahoa Highway, the project area had not been surveyed by archaeologists previously. However, archaeological monitoring of geotechnical test units had been conducted by Pacific Legacy, Inc. in 2018. At that time, no subsurface cultural deposits were identified.
The survey consisted of 100% pedestrian survey and subsurface testing to determine what, if any, historic properties may be affect during planning for and construction of the proposed project. The current archaeological inventory survey resulted in the identification and recording of five historic properties containing seven component features. The survey also identified and recorded six isolated artifacts. A wide range of historical properties were encountered, including both modified natural features and constructed features. These properties included three modified outcrops, as well as historic fence lines and water management features related to ranching activities in the area. These historic properties have been assessed for integrity and site significance in accordance with Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules (HAR) §13-284-6. (2019 Waimea Community Association Project Update Presentation)
On July 7, 2018, Kuma Micah L.K. Kamohoalii and his family had a site visit with staff members from Innergex Renewables USA, LLC to learn about the proposed project and assist with deciding on a name for the project. The name “Hale Kuawehi” was given by Mr. Kamohoalii. “Hale” refers to a house or can also mean host or hospitable. The hale is where things of great importance are kept and stored, a source of good energy, and a place of peace and calm where one may always return to. “Kua” refers to the back or to carry on the back, as in hard work. The back is one of the most important areas of the body in Hawaiian thought, as it is where strength and hard work derives from. “Wehi” means adornment or to beautify and commemorates the natural lush beauty of Hawaii and the power of our natural elements around us. “Kuawehi” describes the sun’s rays and the powerful energy these rays hold.