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Friday, October 25, 2013
Sierra Club: Senate Should Reject Superferry’s only Supporter
By News Release @ 6:39 PM :: 5665 Views :: Environment, Hawaii History

UPDATE Oct 29, 2013: Salmonson Hearing Cancelled After Nomination Withdrawn


  • Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair
  • Senator Russell E. Ruderman, Vice Chair   


  • DATE: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
  • TIME: 10:00 a.m.
  • PLACE: Conference Room 414 State Capitol 415 South Beretania Street  

A G E N D A 

In anticipation of receiving Governor’s Messages appointing nominees to various boards and commissions, the Committee will hold a hearing to consider the background, experience, and qualifications of the following individual(s):  

GM 31 Submitting for consideration and confirmation as the Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control, Gubernatorial

Nominee, GENEVIEVE SALMONSON, for a term to expire 6-30-2015.

Decision Making to follow, if time permits.  

Testimony may be submitted up to 24 hours prior to the start of the hearing.  

Persons wishing to testify should submit testimony in one of the following ways:  

• Online:

• Email: Testimony may be emailed to the Committee at (10 MB limit).

Please indicate the measure, date and time of the hearing. Email sent to individual offices or any other Senate office will not be accepted.

• In person: Deliver 1 copy of their testimony to the committee clerk, Room 201, State Capitol.

• Fax: Testimony may be faxed if less than 5 pages in length, to 586-6679 or 1-800-586-6659 (toll free for neighbor islands), at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. When faxing, please indicate to which committee the testimony is being submitted and the date and time of the hearing.  

Please Note: All testimony received by the Hawai‘i Senate is posted on the Hawai‘i Legislature's website, which is accessible to the public. Please do not include private information that you do not want disclosed to the public. 

FOR AMENDED NOTICES: Measures that have been deleted are stricken through and measures that have been added are underscored. If a measure is both underscored and stricken through, that measure has been deleted from the agenda.  

If you require auxiliary aids or services to participate in the public hearing process (i.e. ASL or foreign language interpreter, or wheelchair accessibility), please contact the committee clerk at least 24 hours prior to the hearing so that arrangements can be made. 

  *   *   *   *   *

Reality: The Superferry Decision was made up out of thin air.  It had no precedent.

  *   *   *   *   *

"NO" to the Confirmation of Genevieve Salmonson

by Robert Harris, Sierra Club Hawaii

Numerous environmental and community organizations have come together to oppose Genevieve Salmonson's appointment as Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Ms. Salmonson is infamous for her involvement in the Superferry debacle. She approved the Department of Transportation's request to exempt the Superferry from environmental review. In reviewing that decision, Hawaii's Environmental Council voted 9 – 1 that the exemption was inappropriately applied. Ms. Salmonson, as a voting member of that Environmental Council, was the single “nay” vote in opposition. The Supreme Court of Hawaii also unanimously concluded Ms. Salmonson was wrong.

If Ms. Salmonson had asked the right questions and determined that an EIS was necessary, this sordid episode in Hawaii's history may never have happened and the state might have saved millions of dollars.

The Office of Environmental Quality Control, which is charged with protecting Hawaii's environmental quality and resolving public concerns, suffers from a clear lack of quality leadership. It has been unable to pass administrative rules in over a decade and has not substantively updated Hawaii's environmental review laws in years. Ms. Salmonson, who has served in this office previously for two terms, cannot provide the leadership needed nor inspire public confidence in her ability to fairly hear and resolve environmental concerns.

Putting the right people in office is one the key functions of a well-functioning democracy. Please ask your Senator to ensure that someone who understands the law and can build public trust is appointed. Ask them to say "no" to Ms. Salmonson as OEQC Director.

  *   *   *   *   *

Sierra Club Talking Points

by Karen Chun, Sierra Club Hawaii

Genevieve Salmonson has repeatedly demonstrated she does not understand Hawaii's environmental laws.

During the Superferry fiasco, she let herself be swayed by Gov. Lingle's political power to violate Chapter 343 and let the Superferry go forward without an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") - thus dooming it. Had it done a proper EIS, perhaps the design and plan would have been adjusted so as to make the project viable.

Hawaii's own Environmental Council voted 9 – 1 that the Department of Transportation improperly granted an exemption to the Superferry. Genevieve Salmonson, as a voting member of that Environmental Council, was the single “nay” vote.

The Hawai'i Supreme Court also decisively said she was wrong.

Genevieve Salmonson does not deserve to be put in charge of OEQC again.

She doesn't have the political independence or the legal understanding to do this job. Please do not confirm her.

  *   *   *   *   *

Governor Nominates Genevieve Salmonson to Interim Director, Office of Environmental Quality Control

News Release from Office of the Governor May 16, 2013

HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie has nominated Genevieve Salmonson to the position of interim director of the state Department of Health (DOH) Office of Environmental Quality Control, effective today. The nomination is subject to state Senate confirmation.

“Genevieve is experienced in working across public and private sectors toward resolution and environmental compliance,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “She will provide strong leadership, particularly in relation to supporting small businesses’ efforts in complying with environmental regulations and law.”

Salmonson previously served as the director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control from 1999 to 2007. Since then, she has served as the DOH Compliance Assistance Office ombudsman and, from 2009 to 2012, as temporary assignment program manager for the DOH Environmental Planning Office.

As ombudsman, Salmonson has assisted small businesses in complying with permitting requirements from environmental management departments, conducted voluntary site assessments, led workshops, and worked as a neutral mediator with government and businesses representations in investigations and the resolution of disputes.

Prior to that, she was the general manager and senior vice president for Honolulu Recovery Systems, Inc., and vice president and corporate secretary-treasurer for United Tire and Recapping Co., Ltd.

Active in the small business and environmental compliance community, Salmonson is a member of the National Steering Committees of EPA Small Business Ombudsman (Water, Waste and Air), member of the General Contractors Association Subcommittee on the Environment, and member and advisor for the General Contractors Association for the Hawaii Stormwater Risk Management Excellence Program. She has also served on the Hawaii State Emergency Response Commission; State of Hawaii Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals; and various task forces on environmental, recycling and sustainability issues.

Salmonson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Salmonson is a resident of Nuuanu, Oahu.

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