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Public Comment Sought on Emergency Road Review

November 5, 2014, 2:36 PM HST (Updated November 5, 2014, 2:38 PM) · 0 Comments
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Public comment is being sought by Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on an environmental review and decisions regarding the construction and use of an emergency access route along Chain of Craters Kalapana Road.

The environmental review for the emergency access route was completed, in compliance with the alternative National Environmental Policy Act arrangements developed by, and in consultation with, the Department of Interior and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality.

To ensure residents have accessibility in and out of Pahoa, HVNP has been working in cooperation with the State of Hawai’i, Hawai’i County, and the Federal Highways Administration to construct an emergency access route between the park and Kalapana, along the park’s historic Chain of Craters Kalapana Road.

The environmental review considers alternatives to the emergency route, as well as potential adverse impacts. The review also includes public involvement, mitigation and monitoring commitments.

As part of the alternative arrangements, the National Park Service will continue to engage the public soliciting comments on the project, participating in public informational meetings, responding to comments received, and publishing periodic reports on the results of monitoring commitments.

NPS will also continue to consult with affected agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Hawai’i State Historic Preservation Division, as necessary.

The NPS will also prepare a NEPA review to consider the future of the emergency access route after the emergency ends. The use of the emergency access route will only last as long as there is no viable alternative route for the residents of the affected area to use to gain access to the rest of the island.

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The public is invited to review the environmental review and decision document and to submit comments via the NPS’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment website.

Comments may also be submitted through e-mail to nps_havo_planning@nps.gov or in writing, addressed to Superintendent, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, P.O. Box 52, Hawai’i National Park, HI 96718-0052.0

The deadline for submitting comments is Dec. 5, 2014 at 8:59 p.m.

Comments will be accepted while construction of the road is in progress, and are intended to affect NPS considerations of adjustments to the proposed action and enhancement of proposed mitigation measures.

If necessary, the comment period will be extended.

Response to substantive comments will be subsequently posted on the PEPC website. Results of park monitoring of resources and road use will be posted on both the PEPC and park’s websites, shared at community meetings, or publicized through other means of communication periodically throughout the duration of the emergency.

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