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Public Hearing on Draft Pakini & Lālāmilo Plans

August 2, 2016, 11:48 AM HST
* Updated August 2, 11:54 AM
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The Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife will hold a public hearing to receive testimony on the Draft Pakini Nui and Lālāmilo Habitat Conservation Plans.

The hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, at the Hawai‘i Gateway Energy Center, Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i, 73-4485 Kahilihili St., Kailua-Kona.

Tawhiri Power LLC, the Pakini Nui project proponent, operates an existing 21 MW wind energy facility at South Point with 14 turbines and associated power lines. The facility has not previously operated under an HCP and associated incidental take license. Tawhiri has now prepared an HCP and is requesting a 20-year ITL ( incidental take is a legal term including, but not limited to, any type of harm or harassment).

As of March 2016, two endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) fatalities have been observed at the facility. Tawhiri has determined that the incidental take of four endangered species could occur from continued facility operation: Hawaiian hoary bat, Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), band-rumped storm petrel (Oceanodroma castro) and Hawaiian goose (nēnē; Branta sandvicensis).

Low wind speed curtailment will be employed as a minimization measure. Mitigation for the Hawaiian hoary bat will consist of habitat improvement at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and associated bat monitoring to evaluate the improvement.

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Mitigation for the Hawaiian petrel and band-rumped storm petrel will consist of a monetary contribution toward maintenance of a cat-proof fence around a petrel nesting colony at HAVO, along with predator control.

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Mitigation for nēnē is contribution of funding to DOFAW for recovery of the species. All mitigation measures were developed to provide a net ecological benefit to the species.

Lālāmilo Wind Company LLC, the project proponent, has prepared an HCP and is requesting an associated 20-year ITL to operate a wind energy facility. The facility has a net generating capacity of 3.3 MW and includes five turbines with associated power lines.

Lālāmilo has determined that incidental take of two endangered species could occur as a result of wind energy operations: Hawaiian hoary bat and Hawaiian petrel. Mitigation for these two species will include the same actions as described above for Pakini Nui, although with a different level of effort commensurate with take.

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Copies of the draft HCPs are available for review at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Honolulu and as a link provided in the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s June 8, 2016, issue of the Environmental Notice. Copies will also be available at the public hearing.

Anyone wanting to attend the hearing who may require auxiliary aids (taped materials or sign language interpreter) should contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife at 1151 Punchbowl St/, Room 325, Honolulu or by calling (808) 587-0166.

Those unable to attend the hearing and wishing to provide testimony should send comments to the aforementioned address, attention Kate Cullison or email them to [email protected].

Comments should be received by Aug. 8, 2016.

Hoary Bat

Hoary bat photo courtesy DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Turbine with bat acoustic monitor

Turbine with bat acoustic monitor. Photo courtesy DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Turbines

Turbine photo courtesy DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

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