EIS Required for Commercial Aquarium Permits
After a full and thorough review of two Final Environment Assessments (EAs) prepared by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), Suzanne Case, the chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, has determined that the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required. The determination is based on the significance criteria outlined in Title II, Chapter 200, Hawai‘i Administrative Rules.
PIJAC proposed the issuance of Commercial Aquarium Permits on Hawai‘i Island and on O‘ahu, covering near shore regions except areas already designated as no collection sites such as Marine Life Conservation Districts and Fish Replenishment Areas. Separate EAs were proposed for each island.
The determination of the requirement for an EIS, once published in the next issue of the Office of Environmental Quality Control “Environmental Notice,” will initiate a 30-day public consultation for parties to comment on the action and to request to become consulted parties in the preparation of the draft EIS.
Chair Case commented, “The scope of our review of each commercial aquarium permit EA was thorough. The EIS process for commercial aquarium permits requires an even more in-depth analysis of all available science and data. It will also give interested parties the opportunity to offer additional documentation and comment.”