IV. CONCLUSION—Lessons and Learned
In Hawaii, Final Environment Impact Statement (FEIS) is the most important process to ensure that the agency make right decisions to the proposal or actions triggered by HRS§ 343-5.
From the Kawailoa project, we learned that failure to (1) provide accurate and sufficient evaluation of visual impact (though it is not avoidable at some level), and (2) fully communicate in order to get the communities’ full awareness of the possible environmental impacts, and (3) provide adequate cultural impact assessment, will possibly negate the fundamental purpose as set forth in HRS§343-1, HAR §11-200-1, and cause a concern whether the accepting agency have chance to have a “hard look” at all impacts and alternatives under the procedural requirements.
In the meantime, wind turbines have been criticized for disrupting the lives of birds and bats, also humans. Noise and shadow flicker are the most common concerns, with some correlation between the most vigorous complaints and parties who do not receive economic benefit from nearby installations. That’s actually what happen in InfraVest Wind Power project located Yuanli town, Miaoli county, Taiwan as we mentioned in the introduce of this article.
Just assumed the InfraVest project generated in Hawaii, as a hypothetical new wind farm project, residences of Yuanli may consider:
(1) Hire experts[i] to prepare visual impact assessment from more different distances, angles, and neighbor areas; to aggressively make comments in each period for public comments after the published of draft of environment impact statement (DEIS) by providing those Visibility Impact Assessment (VIA) results to be qualified for taking HRS § 343-7 (C) “judicial proceeding”.
(2) Periodically monitor the governmental website to see any publication of EA/EIS information made by the Environment Counsel, in order to avoid improper segmentation and get ready to participate in any opportunity of public communication in a timely manner
(3) Take records in each step or meetings of public communication as evidence to prepare for the judicial challenge in HRS § 343-7 (b) or (c).
(4) Take cautions to ensure the new project will be well scoped without improper segmentation.
(5) In case ANY current status of turbines in Yuanli would be changed, ex, removed, added, or replaces, the residences may try to request a supplemental EIS (SEIS) to be submitted to the Environment Counsel, thus to ask removal of certain wind turbines from the current InfraVest project and reduce the visual and cultural impacts to the local scenes or to reduce the noise level to human.