Are agencies, stakeholders and the public adequately notified under 343?
Agencies, stakeholders and the public are adequately notified. (5: 1, 4)
- People should be proactive and not expect to be spoon-fed information.
- There will always be people who say they did not hear about a project. (3: 2, 1)
- The current system works well; usually works well; does not need to be changed. ()
- The public finds out late and has to scramble to keep up. (2: 1, 1)
- Environmental justice is an issue – those with the least resources are the least informed. (2)
- People do not know there is a process to participate in; the process mystifies the public. (2: 1, 1)
The process can be improved by:
Better use of the internet/website. (4: 1, 3)
- Use listserve/email; allow sign-up for notification of actions in areas of interest (judicial districts, geographic areas, types of projects). (12: 3, 5, 4)
- Include link to online document in email notice. ()
- Post signs on property. (3)
- Notify neighbors (calls, postcards).
- Community meetings.
- Ads (newspaper, radio).
- Circulate the OEQC bulletin more widely; use libraries.
- Agencies, organizations, and the public would all benefit from better understanding the process. (13: 3, 4, 6)
- How much/what kind of notice is “adequate”?
- Make the process more consistent across agency, state, county, federal levels.
- Figuring out what the issues are in advance makes the process more efficient. (10: 2, 5, 3)
- Notify relevant agencies directly instead of relying on the OEQC Bulletin.
- The public is notified by activists, not through the system. (2: 1, 1)
- Making the system user-friendly for the public will avoid a lot of frustration and anger. When people have to look too hard to find something they feel excluded. ()
- We should be careful about legislating this because people will sue over the manini details.
- It would be onerous to requires a meeting by law for every project.
- EISs are too lengthy and technical for most people to read; provide plain-language, summary documents that are user-friendly. ()
Amount/quality of participation varies by agency. ()
- Comments are cursory, boiler plate.
- Comments should represent agency’s agenda/expertise.
- Some agencies make unreasonable requests for studies marginally related to project. (11: 3, 8)
- Agencies are active on relevant documents. ()
- 30 days is too short. (2)
- documents are lengthy.
- There are many projects, we can’t get to them all; we have to prioritize.
“Comment bombing” is an issue. (9: 2, 7)
- Not every comment deserves an individual response. (19: 7, 1, 11)
- Comment bombing is an issue, but everyone deserves the right to comment. (2: 1, 1)
- Documents become too long when we have to reproduce every letter. ()
- There is no recourse if response to comments is inadequate and concerns are not addressed.
- It is not adequate to respond to a comment by referring back to the document section.
Ways to improve the review process: ()
Improve quality of review:
- Create incentives for review (for agencies, UH faculty).
- A body of paid experts to conduct review. (2: 1, 1)
- An independent government agency to conduct review. (2: 1, 1)
- Better quality documents would minimize need for review. (6: 2, 3, 1)
Lengthen the public review period or extend it if necessary, be lenient for public comment. (5)
Have a dedicated staff person in each agency; have a single point of contact. (4: 1, 3)
More guidance to determine adequacy of responses. ()
Do not require individual response to comments that do not warrant it. (5: 1, 4)
Comments and Concerns:
- The process doesn’t yield meaningful results. (2)
- Comments are very technical and miss the big picture the community is concerned with.
- Personal attacks and grievances are not about the impacts. (2)
- The governor’s office can help understaffed agencies.
Documents should have a shelf life. (10: 3, 6, 1)
- After a time deadline there should be a procedure in place to determine if a new or supplemental document is needed (after 3/5/7/10/15 years). (22: 6, 13 3)
- A 5/10/20 year document should no longer be valid. ()
- There should be a sunset clause; a 20-year old document cannot accurately reflect current impacts. (10: 1, 5, 3)
- 2 years after final permit is issued.
- Only if there are significant change to the project or circumstances. (45: 18, 5, 22)
- Projects take a long time to complete, we don’t want them further delayed. (6: 2, 4)
- An arbitrary drop-dead date would be punitive. (3: 1, 2)
- Zoning or permit should expire; this should not be in 343. (3: 2, 1)
- Requiring a new EIS might cause projects to miss funding window, especially for federal matching funds. ()
- If there is no finality to the process, financing will suffer and lawsuits will be more difficult to resolve. Things done in the past will always be insufficient. (3: 1, 2)
What should be the standard for review to determine if new or updated document is needed? (7: 2, 5)
Resubmit the document for public review. (3: 1, 1, 1)
- If new issues have arisen they will be revealed through this process.
- Review based on significant change in: environment, project, traffic, population, land use, economy, public concern, noise, pollution. (18: 5, 4, 9)
- Review based on criteria (might look at NEPA’s “40 questions”). (2: 1, 1)
- Review based on certain % change in criteria, allow 10% margin of error.
- OEQC or overseeing agency should do review. (2)
Comments and Concerns:
- Should be able to do a targeted study that only addresses changes. (5: 1, 3, 1)
- The time frame for government should be longer than for private sector.
- The time frame for rapidly developing areas should be shorter.
- If a project has already begun, it should not be required to update. ()
- We need an information system/data base to detect and record changes so we have something to do assessment with. (4: 3, 1)