Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Real Reason for the Act 2 EIS Delay?‏

Here is my response to the following two articles:

Superferry report hit with delay Honolulu Star-Bulletin - By Star-Bulletin staff - A draft environmental impact statement for the Hawaii Superferry won't be released until the beginning of next year...

Superferry’s draft EIS delayed The Garden Island - By Michael Levine - The draft Environmental Impact Statement for Hawai‘i Superferry, previously scheduled for public distribution this fall, is now scheduled for distribution in January 2009, according to Mike Formby...

This letter goes out to the Justices of the Hawaii State Supreme Court, know what you are not seeing:

"The Real Reason for the Act 2 EIS Delay?"

"I don't buy any of Mike Formby's reasons for delaying the EIS. The Act 2 Draft EIS was suppose to be issued by the end of October 2008, by Lingle's DOT/Belt Collins' own schedule. When the State Supreme Court, a few days ago, scheduled Oral Arguments contesting Act 2 for Dec. 18th, it would seem the Lingle Administration decided to push back issuing the Act 2 Draft EIS so that it's inadequacies will likely not be seen by the Supreme Court Justices before they make their decision in the Act 2 case.

DOT and Belt Collins have had a year to do the draft. HSF's changing schedule has been happening throughout the year. Affected traffic studies are some of the most easily quantifiable effects of what the EIS could cover. It's the other things that are not so easily quantifiable and mitigated, like invasive species and resource depletion, that probably won't even be adequately addressed in the Draft EIS even 2-3 months from now, and that clear inadequacy will not likely be seen by the Supreme Court Justices until after they've made their decision.

Lastly, Belt Collins should have been almost done with the Act 2 Draft EIS by now. Changes in HSF's schedule should only need a few more weeks to incorporate into the Draft EIS, not 2-3 months. If that was not the case, then this announcement should have been made well before now. By taking more time now on the Draft copy of the EIS, and sticking to an arbitrary final sunset deadline, DOT and Belt Collins are taking time away from incorporating public comments and ideas into the Final copy. Implied is that DOT and Belt Collins assume they know better than the vast number of people in the public, what to address and how to mitigate it on this issue.

DOT and Belt Collins should just issue what they have, let the Supreme Court Justices see this Draft 'EIS' for what it is and let the more productive public comment period begin. Any better ideas that DOT or Belt Collins may have can be put into the Final Draft later. This assumes, of course, that Lingle and DOT are not trying to 'hide the ball' from the State Supreme Court."

Aloha, Brad

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