Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Watch out Manoa--if HB 2863 becomes law, you could see that 132 KV line strung up before long
Here's the latest from Henry Curtis.
For those who don't remember, the Kamoku-Pukele transmission line that he mentions below would have defaced the beautiful Manoa Valley with huge towers and unsightly transmission wires. There's no way to hide a monstrosity like that by painting it green.
Well, guess what everyone, it could happen again, if this bill becomes law. Listen to Henry and help stop it now! Last chance!
You can reach all state senators at email@example.com
You can reach all state representatives at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Plus, call your own senator/representative and tell them that HB2863 should not be passed, it's bad for the environment, bad for everyone (except utility companies, of course).
The Kamoku-Pukele 138-kV Transmission Line could return and be rammed through if HB 2863 becomes law.
What if HECO proposed a 200 MW wind farm in Waahila Ridge Park on Conservation Land and insisted that the wind farm needed the Kamoku-Pukele 138-kV Transmission Line for proper reliability.
After receiving approval, HECO builds the transmission line but not the wind farm. Sound far fetched. No. It's not.
HB 2863 (www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2008/Bills/HB2863_CD1_.htm) allows this to happen. Although the public may comment along the way, DBEDT, the business advocate, meets privately with the applicant, accepts the environmental impact statement, processes the permit, and cajoles other agencies to get in line.
(No area of the state would be safe !!)
HB 2863 HD2 SD2 CD1 Conference Committee Report (Filed on April 26, 2008) ( www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2008/CommReports/HB2863_CD1_CCR146-08_.htm)
''The purpose of this bill is to establish a renewable energy facility siting process for state and county permits required for the siting, development, construction, and operation of a renewable energy facility.''
''Specifically, the measure provides the Energy Resources Coordinator [The DBEDT Director] with the authority to establish and implement a consolidated application process to facilitate streamlined permitting of a renewable energy facility.''
HB 2863 CD1 (Excerpts)
''Renewable energy facility' or "facility" means a new facility located in the State with the capacity to produce from renewable energy at least two hundred megawatts of electricity. The term includes any of the following associated with the initial permitting and construction of the facility: ... (3) Any energy transmission line from the facility to a public utility's electricity transmission or distribution system''
'''Permit' means any approval, no matter the nomenclature, necessary for the siting, development, construction, or operation of a renewable energy facility ... Includes: (A) A state land use reclassification; B) A county development, community, or community development plan amendment; (C) A county zoning map amendment; (D) A state conservation district use permit; ... (H) A grant of an easement on state or county real property.''
'''Energy resources coordinator or "coordinator" means the energy resources coordinator as designated in section 196-3 [The Director of DBEDT].''
''The coordinator shall: (1) Consult with appropriate state and county agencies to develop and establish a permit plan application format and procedure designed to ensure a timely review to obtain required permits and approvals for renewable energy facilities;
Before accepting a permit plan application, the coordinator may hold a pre-application conference ... with the prospective applicant to discuss all the state and county permits necessary for the facility and notify the prospective applicant of the information that must be submitted for the necessary permits under the permit plan.''
''If a permit is not approved or denied within twelve months after approval of a completed permit plan application, the permitting agency shall provide the coordinator with a report identifying diligent measures that are being taken by the agency to complete processing and action as soon as practicable. If a permitting agency fails to provide this report and if the permit has not been approved or denied within eighteen months following the approval of a completed permit plan application by the coordinator, the permit shall be deemed approved.''
''Chapter 343 shall apply to any permit plan application for a renewable energy facility. ... Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 343 to the contrary, the department of business, economic development, and tourism shall be the accepting authority for any final environmental impact statement that is prepared by an applicant for any renewable energy facility under this chapter.''
''The applicable county shall establish an expedited process for review and issuance of all required building or grading permits. Under the process, the county may contract with a third party to conduct the review of the permit application and require the applicant for the permit to pay the cost incurred for the third party review.''
''The coordinator may adopt interim rules to implement this chapter without regard to the notice and public hearing requirements of section 91-3 or the small business impact review requirements of chapter 201M''
Henry Curtis, Executive Director, Life of the Land, 76 N. King Street, Suite 203, Honolulu, HI 96817. phone: 808-533-3454. cell: 808-927-0709. Web Site: http://www.lifeofthelandhawaii.org/ email:email@example.com
Gee, what could go wrong with exempting projects from environmental and permitting? I can’t seem to recall exactly but wasn’t there some brouhaha over a boat or something?