Categorized | Environment

EIS slated for whale sanctuary management plan

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, which is jointly managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the State of Hawaii through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), is currently reviewing its management plan, as required by law.

This periodic review began in 2010 with a series of public scoping meetings, and a draft revised management plan will be released for public comment by spring 2014.

To meet state provisions of the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act (HEPA) under HRS Chapter 343, HAR 11-200, the DLNR published its Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Jan. 8, 2013, opening up a 30-day comment period in which input on management considerations will be accepted.

“The review of the sanctuary’s management plan is an opportunity for the State of Hawaii and NOAA to continue work together to ensure that Hawaii’s resources can be utilized responsibly and continue to be enjoyed for generations to come,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.

The draft EIS will include a substantive analysis of any affects the sanctuary’s revised management plan may have on the economic welfare, social welfare, and cultural practices of communities or the state.

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries issued a similar notice under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 2010.

This Notice of Intent aligns the required federal and state processes so that the DLNR and NOAA are able to produce one comprehensive document that reflects the sanctuary’s joint management.

All comments already collected by NOAA in 2010 are already under full consideration by both the state and NOAA and do not need to be resubmitted.

Comments on the state’s Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS are due by Feb. 7, 2013.

The notice can be viewed at: oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20D…

How to submit comments:

E-mail: dlnr.sanctuary@hawaii.gov (preferred)

Mail: Attn: Sanctuary Management
Department of Land and Natural Resources
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 330, Honolulu, HI 96813

Fax: (808) 587-0115

In person: Comments may be provided at the Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting Jan. 25, 2013 at the Kalanimoku Building, Conference Room 132, 1151 Punchbowl St.

It is requested that those submitting comments by mail provide their e-mail address for future communications.

A Draft EIS and Draft Management Plan will be published subsequently with an additional comment period to follow. Notice of these drafts will be made simultaneously in both the Federal Register and OEQC Bulletin.

— Find out more:
hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov
hawaii.gov/health/environmenta…

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