02/14/14 – DLNR Proposes Streamlined Permit Process For Fishpond Restoration

Posted on Feb 14, 2014 in News Releases, OCCL

News Release


For Immediate News Release February 14, 2014

Statewide public hearings planned in February
on new general permit process

HONOLULU – Navigating a complicated and time-consuming regulatory path for restoration of traditional fishpond systems in Hawai‘i should soon become more efficient and manageable, thanks to a proposed statewide programmatic general permit process. Statewide public hearings on this proposed process are being held to gather input.

Known as Ho‘ala Loko I‘a, this consolidated process is intended to provide cultural practitioners with a single application and permit, processed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL). This streamlined permit will encompass the five potential permits that are currently required. The program has been designed to be in compliance with no less than 17 distinct federal and state regulations.

OCCL anticipates the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will issue a general permit that will delegate to the state the authority to issue permits covered under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403).

The Section 10 process includes a mandatory consultation with resource agencies and compliance with the state’s Coastal Zone Management program, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act §401 Water Quality Certification program, the Magnusson-Stevenson Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Projects will require a single user-friendly Conservation District Use Application (CDUA) that has been modified to meet the needs of the Ho‘ala Loko I‘a program. The Ho‘ala Loko I‘a CDUA will ask applicants to discuss the history of the pond, the ecology of the pond system, the applicant’s relationship to the pond and associated ‘ahupua‘a, the proposed work, and the proposed best management practices and water quality monitoring plans that will be followed.

OCCL will bring the CDUA to the Board of Land and Natural Resources to approve the following:

  1. That the board delegate to the chair the authority to sign a five-year programmatic agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Ho‘ala Loko I‘a program, and
  2.  That OCCL be given the authority to implement and manage the Ho‘ala Loko I‘a program as described.

A Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) for the program, prepared by Honua Consulting, and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) were published in October 2013. The FEA examined over three decades of research data into fishpond systems, and concluded that the project could result in short-term minimal impacts to water quality, but these would be mitigated by long-term cumulative benefits to the coastal ecosystem in Hawai‘i.

OCCL will hold public hearings on the project at the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 18: Windward Community College, Hale Akoakoa Room 107 and 109, 45-720 Kea‘ahala Rd., Kane‘ohe. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 20: Kapa‘a Public Library, 4-1464 Kuhio Hwy., Kapa‘a. 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 25: Kūlana ‘Ōiwi Halau, 600 Kamehameha Hwy., Kalamaula, Moloka‘i. 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 26: Maui Sanctuary Visitor Center, 726 South Kihei Rd., Kihei. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 27: Lana‘i Community Center, 8th St. and Lana‘i Ave. 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 5: West Hawai‘i Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy., Kailua-Kona. 6 – 8 p.m.

In addition, OCCL will make copies of the application available for inspection at:

  • The Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL), Kalanimoku Building Room 131, 1151 Punchbowl St., Honolulu, HI 96809
  • OCCL website, dlnr.hawaii.gov/occl/special-projects
  • Hawai‘i State Library, 478 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96813
  • Hilo Public Library, 300 Waianuenue Ave., Hilo 96720
  • Kailua-Kona Public Library, 75-138 Hualalai Rd. Kailua-Kona, 96740
  • Lihu‘‘e Public Library, 4344 Hardy St., Lihu‘e, 96766
  • Wailuku Public Library, 251 High St., Wailuku, 96793
  • Moloka‘i Public Library, 15 Ala Malama St., Kaunakakai 96748
  • Lana‘i Public Library, 555 Fraser Ave., Lana‘i City 96763
  • Kane‘ohe Public Library, 45-829 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe 96744

Upon completion of the review process, OCCL will present the application to the Board of Land and Natural Resources for its consideration. For more information regarding this application, the public may contact Michael Cain of the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands at (808) 587-0048.

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Media Contact:
Deborah Ward
Public Information Specialist
(808) 587-0320