Sunday, January 11, 2009

Act 2 and the Pseudo-Draft 'EIS'...What to do Next

While we wait for the Hawaii State Supreme Court decision on Act 2:

Just got a call from a knowledgeable person on this subject. That person told me people are waiting on my analysis of the Act 2 'EIS'. That made me realize I need to clarify what I'm doing.

Right now I am deep into about 10 legal documents, statutes, and market studies from mostly back in 2004, that did not properly analyze the market nor oceangoing conditions for an interisland ferry, and thus did not determine a true public need, and how Act 2 further manipulates that away from fact. That will be the last main part in my "Act 2: A Closed Class of One (Part 5)," and I hope to finish it tomorrow.

I also need to finish Parts 2 and 3 (of 3) reviews of the book out now on this subject. Will do that later.

And then there are my own comments on the Act 2 'EIS'. Because I am told people are waiting on that, I need to explain what I plan to do and what I recommend for others based upon a careful reading of Act 2 Part III which deals with this pseudo-'EIS's creation.

First, the public comments are not due until February 23, 2009 (I'm recommending people submit their finished written and documented comments the last week before Feb. 23rd). Based upon content that showed up in both the OTF Final Report and the Act 2 Draft 'EIS' and because DOT/Belt Collins will be on a tight schedule, I was not going to make public my comments on the 'EIS' until less than a week before the submission deadline. Based on the feedback today, though, I am going to change that and seek to e-mail to people I know my comments within the next 21 days, and then post my final comments here less than a week before the Feb. 23rd deadline.

As for my recommendations to people, first, I recommend reading the 'EIS' Vol. 1 only, for yourself, and because there are so many inaccuracies, false assumptions, false information, and unaddressed subject matter in it on almost every page, I recommend you highlight and maybe make notes on it as you go. After people have read through the whole thing, individuals might want to focus in on certain aspects that they know best and can document the shortcomings of the Draft 'EIS' and research and recommend corrections, solutions, or logical 'no action.' There are so many flaws in this document, I think it makes sense for individuals to focus in on what they know best or are most interested in and really develop that.

By the content of Act 2 Part III, DOT/Belt Collins will have to respond to all substantive written comments that they receive. Your goal is to force them to have to respond to and maybe even include your comments, ideas, recommendations in the Final Draft 'EIS'. The more people who submit specific documented substantive written comments that DOT/Belt Collins has to respond to, the better. You will be sending a copy of your comments to both DOT and to the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC), so if you send something substantive to OEQC, DOT/Belt Collins will be forced to take the time to assess it and respond to it. DOT/Belt Collins then has to submit the Final Draft to OEQC, and OEQC can either accept or reject this Act 2 'EIS' by the sunset deadline of about July 6th.

DOT/Belt Collins can consult with OEQC before submitting the Final Draft, but once they have submitted it, the OEQC will need at least a few weeks (maybe a month) to either reject it (which most people doubt they would do) or accept it. If OEQC rejects it, DOT/Belt Collins would have to go through a Revised Draft 'EIS' process again, which there would likely not be time to do because of the time that DOT/Belt Collins have already wasted. So, the public's goal might be to get more logical, documented, and detailed critique of this Draft 'EIS' to OEQC than DOT/Belt Collins can possibly evaluate and incorporate into a thorough and complete Final Draft on time. Because of the timing factor involved, I'm recommending that everybody submit their finished written and documented comments not until the last week before Feb. 23rd.

This should be a tag-team affair. I'll do my part, but what it really requires is everybody concerned reading the Draft 'EIS' Vol. 1 for themselves, highlighting and making notes on it, and picking some key points of your own from it to document and contest. People who are on my mailing list will get a copy of my comments in about 3 to 4 weeks, but don't wait for that.

All of this will change if the State Supreme Court strikes down Act 2 soon, which I am hoping for, or if the Legislature is 'man-handled' again by Lingle into pushing back the sunset date of Act 2 which her DOT recommended recently in the OTF Final Report. I fully expect the Lingle Administration to try any shinanigans they can get away with until the State Supreme Court puts a stop to it.

Aloha, Brad

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