A monumental, two-year effort to modernize the state’s environmental impact statement rules has been completed by the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) and the State Environmental Council. The new rules took effect on Aug. 9 and represent the first updating in more than 20 years.
“These rules strike the right balance to ensure public involvement in government decision-making and the disclosure of activities that might affect our environment,” said Governor Ige. The rules clarify the process, allow exemptions for building certain affordable housing, make considering sea level rise and greenhouse gas emissions explicit and require public meetings at the beginning of the EIS process, among other changes. For details, go to https://health.hawaii.gov/oeqc/.