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Hawaiian Electric Company Submits Draft Environmental Assessment

Hawaiian Electric Company Submits Voluntary Draft Environmental Assessment on East Oahu Transmission Project to Public Utilities Commission



August 13, 2004

Peter Rosegg
Phone:  (808) 543-7780

Hawaiian Electric Company has submitted a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the East Oahu Transmission Project (EOTP) to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). In response to public concerns, HECO voluntarily conducted the assessment on the project designed to increase reliability of electricity transmission to eastern Oahu, an area that represents 56 percent of power demand the island.

Copies of the draft EA, prepared for HECO by Belt Collins Hawaii, have also been sent to interveners and participants in the case.

Last November, HECO applied to the PUC for approval to install the 46-kilovolt underground EOTP in two phases, the first primarily between the Makaloa Substation and McCully Substation along Makaloa, Kalakaua, Fern, Hauoli, Lime, Pumehana and Date streets and the second along King Street from South Street to the intersection of McCully and Young streets.

Under the standard environmental review process, the agency will submit the draft EA to the state Office of Environmental Quality Control with an anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) statement for publication in the twice-monthly OEQC Bulletin. Notice in the OEQC Bulletin begins a 30-day period for public comment on the draft EA. During the public comment period, copies of the draft EA will be available at the Hawaii State Library, McCully-Moiliili Library, and Waikiki-Kapahulu Library.

At the end of the public comment period, HECO will prepare responses to the comments and prepare a final environmental assessment.  A FONSI, or negative declaration, is a determination that based upon the project plans and actions to be taken to avoid or minimize the projects effects, the project will not have significant environmental impacts.  Publication of a FONSI in the OEQC Bulletin begins a 30-day period for court challenges by opponents seeking to require HECO to prepare a more elaborate Environmental Impact Statement.

“Given the unique history of this project and concerns raised in a series of meetings with the community and advisory council last year, HECO pledged to voluntarily conduct this EA to provide a formalized process to address these concerns and to keep this vital project on track,” said Robbie Alm, HECO senior vice president for public affairs.  

“The transmission system on Oahu is already at risk and that risk will only increase with time. We must give the HECO system operators the tools they need to do their jobs and provide reliable power for our customers,” he said.

If you have questions, please e-mail or call (808) 543-7780.

EOTP Draft EA Exec Summary - 081304

60-page Application in PDF format.  (Testimonies and exhibits that accompany this application are available for inspection at the Public Utilities Commission office or, to receive the complete filing on a CD, call HECO Corporate Communications at (808) 543-5670 and leave your name, address and phone number.)

Fact Sheet - Critical Reliability Concerns

Public Input Report