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Senate approves $29M for Hawaii energy, water initiatives

MEDIA RELEASE

Efforts to mitigate flooding in Hawaii and further harness the power of the sun, wind, water and earth to create sustainable energy alternatives to imported oil will receive more than $29 million, Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel K. Inouye announced Thursday.

The full Senate voted 80-17 to approve the spending bill, with Sen. Inouye and Sen. Daniel K. Akaka supporting the measure.

“More than 90 percent of Hawaii’s energy comes from petroleum and the state’s two refineries import oil from Alaska and foreign countries. Given our unique access to water, wind, solar and geothermal resources, we should be pushing hard to develop sustainable alternatives in order to lessen our dependence on imported energy,” Inouye said.

“Hawaii consumers should not be subject to volatile energy markets motivated by actions outside of our state’s control. These funds will help our researchers and local energy producers develop the types of alternatives that make sense for our state,” he said.

“This bill fosters American innovation in clean energy and energy efficiency. It supports worthy programs that will put people to work advancing energy independence and sustainability,” Akaka said. “I am very pleased that we were able to include $6 million for U.H.’s Hawaii Energy Sustainability Program and its important work supporting increased use of clean, safe sources of energy.”

Hawaii-related initiatives in the 2010 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act:

* Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture – $6,000,000

This initiative will help Hawaii make progress toward a meaningful level of energy self-sufficiency and address energy security by supporting the development of technologies to convert, store and transport these renewable energy sources for integration with the island electrical grids and transportation systems.

* Development of High Yield Tropical Feedstocks and Biomass Conversion – $6,000,000

The purpose of this project is to increase Hawaii’s energy self-sufficiency as part of a broader strategy to improve Hawaii’s energy security. This project will focus on developing biomass production capabilities, biomass conversion technologies, and integrated bioenergy systems to guide commercial bioenergy production in the State. In addition, this initiative is to implement, through the Western Insular Pacific Subcenter, a coordinated regional approach to biobased energy and produce technologies.

* Hawaii Energy Sustainability Program (formerly Hawaii-New Mexico Sustainable Energy Security Partnership) – $6,000,000

The purpose of this project is to support achievement of the goal of deriving at least 70 percent of the Hawaii’s energy from renewable sources by 2030 and to validate technology and processes that will allow mainland grids to increase their use of intermittent renewable technologies.

* Hawaii Water Management – Islands of Kauai and Oahu – $2,000,000

The purpose of these funds is to rehabilitate the Waiahole and Kokee irrigation systems. The local sponsor has requested that the Waiahole improvements be implemented first and that the Kokee investigations be deferred until completion of Waiahole. The awarding of a construction contract is anticipated in Fiscal Year 2012.

* Surge and Wave Island Modeling Studies – Statewide – $1,200,000

The purpose of these funds are to continue the development of the next generation island storm surge model in conjunction with the University of Hawaii as well as other universities. These advances in the modeling of the science and engineering of the wave-reef interactions during hurricane/typhoon conditions will provide for better island inundation predictions and designs of navigation and shore protection structures.

* Hurricane Evacuation Studies – U.S. Islands, State of Hawaii and all U.S. Territories in the Pacific and Caribbean- $1,000,000

Funds for this initiative will be used to complete a Mass Management Tool, a computer model and graphical user interface based on available information which identifies vulnerable island populations, hazards, public shelter capacities, transportation routes/clearance times and evacuation behavior statistics, for use by local emergency planners within the state and all U.S. Territories in the Pacific and Caribbean.

* Planning Assistance to States – State of Hawaii/Pacific Territories – $1,000,000

This initiative is to support the PAS program in the state, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

* Pacific Island Land Ocean Typhoon Experiment Program – State of Hawaii, Ipan, Guam, Caribbean – $897,000

The purpose of this initiative is to continue the operations of the Pacific Island Land Ocean Typhoon Experiment Program (PILOT) at the Hawaii, Guam and Caribbean test sites.

* Project Condition Survey – Statewide – $670,000

The purpose of this initiative is for the management of the dredging program and inspection of 25 navigation projects with Federal breakwater structures.

* Inspection of Completed Works – Statewide – $542,000

Flood and coastal damage reduction projects are inspected on an annual basis, because of the probability of flood events due to the general geophysical landscape of the islands and the high energy ocean climate surrounding the islands. Flash flooding can occur within 30 minutes of peak rainfall. Failure to inspect Flood Damage Reduction (FDR) projects could increase the potential of structural failure, damages to property, and the possibility of loss of life within the project area.

* Hawaii Regional Sediment Management Demonstration Project – Statewide – $500,000

This initiative is to conduct technical investigations, coordination, and documentation of other regions within the state. Numerous shorelines within the Hawaii islands have diminished significantly and no longer provide a buffer to the impacts of storm waves with a corresponding loss of recreation opportunities. This investigation will further the understanding of the dynamics of complex coastal processes at work and promote the development of long-term strategies for sediment management in other problematic regions in Hawaii.

*Southeast Oahu Regional Sediment Management Demonstration Project –   $500,000

The purpose of this initiative is to conduct technical investigations, coordination, and documentation of other regions on the Island of Oahu. Numerous shorelines within the Hawaii islands have diminished significantly and no longer provide a buffer to the impacts of storm waves with a corresponding loss of recreation opportunities. This investigation will further the understanding of the dynamics of complex coastal processes at work and promote the development of long-term strategies for sediment management in other problematic regions in Hawaii.

* Ala Wai Watershed – Island of Oahu – $408,000

These funds are to complete the feasibility study and conduct the external independent peer review as required under Water Resources Development Act 2007. The feasibility study is investigating and evaluating solutions to environmental degradation and flood damage problems throughout the entire Ala Wai Watershed, which include the Manoa, Palolo, and Makiki drainage systems, including Waikiki and surrounding areas. The objective is to develop a comprehensive integrated plan that recommends a coordinated approach by all Federal, State, and local agencies and the communities to improving the overall watershed health.

* Iao Stream – Island of Maui – $250,000

This initiative is to complete the plans and specifications package and prepare the draft Project Cooperation Agreement for the Iao Stream Flood Control project. The project protects the town of Wailuku, Maui. The project was not fully lined due to limited project funding and benefits. Numerous storm events of high velocity flows within the steeply sloped channel have occurred over the years and resulted in recurring damages to the stream channel, particularly to the right bank levee toe of the unlined section of the project.

* Barbers Point, Pacific Regional Visitor Center, Battery Randolph, Fort DeRussy – Island of Oahu – $191,000

The RVC serves as a unique asset for the Army and the Corps of Engineers in Hawaii by reaching out to the general public with the theme “Partners in the Pacific”. The RVC uses exhibits, movies, interactive kiosks, and interactive outreach programs with school groups.

* Maalaea Harbor – Island of Maui – $181,000

Funds for this initiative are to complete the Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) Phase for the Maalaea Harbor. The objective of the project is to improve navigational access by realigning the entrance channel, and modifying/extending the breakwater to attenuate surge within the harbor, thus, eliminating damage to vessels.

* Wailupe Stream Flood Damage Reduction – Island of Oahu – $157,000

The purpose of this project is to continue the Preconstruction Engineering and Design phase. The Wailupe Stream drainage basin is located approximately eight miles east of Honolulu and encompasses the Aina Haina residential community. The Wailupe Stream flooding is the result of inadequate channel capacity, debris blockages, and stream bank erosion that impacts 614 residential and 28 commercial structures within the 100-year flood plain.

* Rainfall Atlas – Statewide – $100,000

The update of the Rainfall Atlas of Hawaii is a high priority for the state DLNR Commission on Water Resources Management. Knowledge of the mean rainfall patterns is critically important for a variety of resource management issues, including ground water and surface water development and protection, controlling and eradicating invasive species, protecting and restoring native ecosystems, and planning for the effects of global warming.

* Department of Transportation – GIS Program – Statewide – $100,000

This initiative is to complete the Department of Transportation GIS program. The establishment of a Harbors GIS program is a high priority for the state Department of Transportation and will aid in the operation and management of the State harbors system. The study involves the establishment of the Harbors Division GIS program, including a vision for future GIS needs, establishing a plan for implementing and maintaining a GIS, converting project specific data and other basic information to GIS, setting up at least one seat of basic GIS software, and providing training to operate the system.

* Kahuku Area Drainage – Island of Oahu – $100,000

At the request of the sponsor, the state, Department of Education, language was included in the Fiscal Year 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations Act, directing the Honolulu District to initiate Preconstruction Engineering and Design phase activities in support of local drainage/flood damage reduction features at the Kahuku High School and the surrounding community.

* West Maui Watershed – Island of Maui – $90,000

The objective of this initiative is to initiate a cost-shared feasibility study. The reconnaissance study identified flood damage reduction, aquatic and marine ecosystem restoration, and shoreline protection projects that could be undertaken by the Corps of Engineers along with County and State agency partners.

* Waimanalo Wastewater Reuse Plan – Island of Oahu – $67,000

The purpose of this initiative is to complete the Waimanalo Wastewater Reuse Plan. These funds will be matched with local sponsor funding.

* Waiakea-Palai Streams Flood Damage Reduction – Island of Hawaii -$45,000

This initiative is to initiate the Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) phase, including the preparation of the Engineering Design Report (EDR). The individual Waiakea and Palai CAP projects are being converted to the General Investigations (GI) Program. Due to the proximity of Waiakea and Palai, and partially-shared drainage, these projects are being combined into a single project. The new Waiakea-Palai Streams Flood Damage Reduction project is being proposed for the PED phase.

* Hawaii General Technical Services – Statewide – $40,000

The requested funds will be used to provide floodplain information, guidance, analyses, and base flood elevations for members of the general public, including AE firms and private individuals requiring building permits in hurricane wave run-up zones.

* Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor Modifications – $13,000

To determine the feasibility of modifying the Barbers Point Harbor entrance channel and turning basin to improve cargo transportation by enabling the harbor to accommodate larger, more economically efficient vessels.

Inouye supported the following projects included in the President’s budget request. They will compete for funds in Fiscal Year 2010 within the Flood Plain Management Services program.

* Waiohuli Flood Study – $200,000

* Waimea River Zone A Flood Determination – $185,000

* Anahola Flood Hazard Study, Kauai, Hawaii – $150,000

* Nuuanu Reservoir Flood Study – $150,000

Akaka’s Projects

* Hawaii Sustainable Energy Program, UH-Manoa – $6,000,000

Project funding will be used to validate technology and processes that will allow mainland grids to increase their use of intermittent renewable technology. The project addresses issues associated with the high penetration of renewable energy technologies into electrical grid systems, which in turn improves Hawaii’s energy security and helps to inform projects across the nation.

* Solar power for Hawaii State Red Cross Headquarters Building – $240,000

For the purchasing and installing of photovoltaic solar panels with battery support at the Hawaii State Red Cross Headquarters Building. This represents half of the total project cost. The project will serve as a critical back-up energy source during a disaster, as well as a demonstration project for the generation of clean, reliable energy. A photovoltaic system will decrease the long-term cost of operations and direct more scarce resources towards helping people in need.

US Army Corps of Engineers projects

* Ala Wai Canal – $408,000

Funding provided would assist in mitigating and reducing flooding threats to property and roads, while ensuring public safety and enhancing human and environmental health. Accumulation of silt and debris from the Manoa, Palolo, and Makiki streams has significantly reduced the carrying capacity of the Canal. Further, severe storms over the years have resulted in the Canal overflowing and flooding the Waikiki district.

* Hawaii Regional Sediment Management Demonstration Project – $500,000

To conduct technical coastal investigations, coordination, and documentation for sediment management in other regions within the state. Shoreline erosion threatens upland development and coastal habitat along much of the Hawaii shoreline. Numerous shorelines within the Hawaiian Islands have diminished significantly, and no longer provide a buffer to the impacts of storm waves, leading to a corresponding loss of recreational opportunities. This investigation will further the understanding of the dynamics of complex coastal processes at work and promote the development of long-term strategies for sediment management in other problematic regions in Hawaii.

* Planning Assistance to States – $1,000,000

The Planning Assistance to States (PAS) program assists state and local governments in preparing comprehensive plans for the development of water and related land resources. Demand for PAS studies in the Honolulu District’s area of responsibility has greatly exceeded available federal funding resulting in significant delays in addressing technical water related issues in the islands.

* Waiakea-Palai Streams Flood Reduction – $45,000

There has been significant damage to roads, residences, bridges, drainage systems, and personal property over the years due to flooding of Waiakea and Palai Streams. Funding provided will mitigate and reduce flooding in affected communities.

* West Maui Watershed – $90,000

To determine whether a Federal interest exists in a cost shared feasibility study to implement watershed improvements. The West Maui watershed includes the entire area associated with the West Maui Mountains (approximately 90,000 acres) and all of the drainages from Maalaea, Lahaina, Honokohau, and Wailuku. The State Department of Land and Natural Resources fully endorses and supports the multipurpose watershed project.

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