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Wednesday, January 9, 2013
State, NOAA Preparing EIS for Humpback Sanctuary
By News Release @ 8:54 PM :: 4466 Views :: Environment

STATE PUBLISHES NOTICE OF INTENT TO PREPARE AN EIS FOR THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS HUMPBACK WHALE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY MANAGEMENT PLAN

Sanctuary co-managers, State of Hawaii and NOAA working together to meet requirements of Hawaii and National Environmental Policy Acts 

News Release from DLNR January 9, 2013

HONOLULU — 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:  http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/Environmental_Notice/Archives/2010s/2013-01-08.pdf 

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 on January 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. More information on the Management Plan Review process can be found on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary website at: http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov 

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.

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