The Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) facilitates Hawaiʻi’s environmental review process. The office announces the availability of environmental assessments (EAs) and environmental impact statements (EISs) for public review and comment in its semi-monthly publication, The Environmental Notice. OEQC staff also review and comment on these documents and provide assistance throughout the environmental review process.

2015-2016 Environmental Council Annual Report

The Environmental Council released their annual report covering 2015 and 2016 on January 20, 2017. The report highlights how various approaches to sustainability at all levels interrelate to each other – including the State Environmental Policy, Governor Ige’s Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiative, the Aloha+ Challenge, the Promise to PaeʻĀina, the World Conservation Congress, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals  – and examines a path forward on measuring progress using the Island Style Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). Click here for a print friendly version.

The Environmental Notice

The Environmental Notice is published on the 8th and 23rd of each month and includes all actions undergoing environmental review in Hawaiʻi, habitat conservation plans, safe harbor agreements, coastal zone and shoreline notices, federal EAs and EISs under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and more. Current and previous issues are online here.

Online Library of EAs and EISs

Browse the office’s online library of draft and final environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as well as withdrawals, acceptances, and supplemental determinations.

Exemptions

Agencies may declare minor or routine actions proposed by themselves or applicants that trigger Hawaiʻi environmental review exempt from the process. There are two ways agencies can exempt actions: (1) by showing that type of action is on their Environmental Council-concurred exemption list (this is the most straightforward way), or (2) if that type of action is not on their exemption list, showing that it falls within one of the 11 exempt classes of action and getting advice from other agencies or individuals with jurisdiction or expertise on the exemption, per HAR § 11-200-8(a).

Guidance & Forms

Find the OEQC’s citizen’s guide to Hawaiʻi’s environmental policy act (HEPA), the more detailed guidebook, the 2017 and 2018 publication calendars for The Environmental Notice, agency and applicant publication forms, guidance for preparing documents under HEPA, and more.

Laws

Click here for OEQC’s unofficial compilation of Hawaiʻi’s environmental review laws. Relevant statutes include: Chapter 341, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS), which created the OEQC, the Environmental Council, and the Environmental Center; Chapter 343, HRS, on environmental impact statements; and Chapter 344, HRS, on the state environmental policy. These statutes are fleshed out by Chapter 11-200, Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules (HAR), on environmental impact statements, and Chapter 11-201, HAR on the Environmental Council.

The Environmental Council

The Council serves as a liaison between the OEQC and the public on matters concerning ecology and environmental quality. The Council also monitors the progress of state, county, and federal agencies in achieving the State’s environmental goals and policies. Its 15 members are appointed by the governor. Agendas and minutes for their monthly meetings (open to the public) can be found here, and an archive of their annual reports is online here.

The Environmental Center

The University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa Water Resources Research Center is designated as an environmental center to assist the OEQC and the Environmental Council and to stimulate, expand, and coordinate the education, research, and service efforts of the university relating to ecological relationships, natural resources, and environmental quality, with special relation to human needs and social institutions.

(808) 586-4185 • oeqchawaii@doh.hawaii.gov
235 South Beretania Street, Suite 702 • Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96813