Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC)

OEQC is one of three entities established under the Environmental Quality Control Act (1970), codified as Chapter 341, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). The purpose of this chapter is to help stimulate, expand and coordinate efforts to maintain the optimum quality of the State’s environment. The Environmental Council and Environmental Center are also established under Chapter 341, HRS.

OEQC’s main duty is implementing Chapter 343, HRS, Environmental Impact Statement Law and Chapter 11-200, HAR, Environmental Impact Statement Rules. The OEQC director and planners review and comment on environmental disclosure documents.

Twice a month, OEQC publishes The Environmental Notice which announces the availability of Environmental Assessments (EA) and Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) under public review.

The Director is tasked with providing advice and assistance regarding Chapter 343, HRS, to private industry, government agencies, and community groups, conducting research, legislative initiatives, public outreach, and recommending programs for the long-range implementation of environmental quality control. OEQC staff also provide support to the Environmental Council.

Chapter 343, Hawaii Revised Statutes and Chapter 11-200, Hawaii Administrative Rules

Also known as the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act (HEPA), Chapter 343, HRS, created a review system to ensure that environmental, social and economic impacts of proposed projects are given appropriate consideration in the approvals and permitting process.

If any proposed project or activity meets one or more of the nine conditions, known as “Triggers” then the requirements of Chapter 343 must be addressed.
There are three different options for doing so:

  • An Exemption Declaration;
  • A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) based on a draft and final Environmental Assessment (EA) or;
  • The acceptance of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

All EA and/EIS documents prepared must be submitted to the OEQC to be published for public review.

To learn more about whether a project needs to undergo an environmental review, please refer to Chapter 343, HRS the implementing rules of Chapter 11-200, HAR

The Guide to the Implementation and Practice of the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act is also available to familiarize the reader with basic concepts, terms and language of the EA and EIS process.

The Environmental Notice

OEQC publishes a periodic bulletin, known as The Environmental Notice on the eighth and twenty-third day of each month. The Environmental Notice announces the availability of EAs and EISs under public review.

The Notice also includes non-HEPA related documents such as Federal consistency reviews, special management area permits, shoreline certifications, federal EAs and EISs compiled in accordance to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), habitat conservation plans, safe harbor agreements, incidental take licenses per the Federal endangered species act, and other miscellaneous notices.

  • Go to the Current Issue to view the most recent publication.
  • Previous Issues of The Notice are also available.
  • If you would like to receive The Notice please Contact Us and request to be added to our subscription list.

HEPA Document Library and Toolkit

Documents published in The Environmental Notice are generally available on our Online Library of EAs and EISs.

The Environmental Assessment Preparation Toolkit contains helpful information, instructions and forms for working with and adhering to HEPA.

The Environmental Council

The Environmental Council is comprised of 15 members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.  The members are appointed to assure a broad and balanced representation of educational, business, and environmentally relevant disciplines and professions.  The OEQC Director serves as an ex-officio voting member of the Council.  The Council serves as a liaison between the Director and the public on matters concerning ecology and environmental quality.

You may contact any council member at environmental.council@doh.hawaii.gov, or write to the Office of Environmental Quality Control, 235 South Beretania Street, Suite 702, Honolulu, HI 96813.

The Environmental Center

The Water Resources Research Center functions as an environmental center that assists OEQC and the Environmental Council; contributes to determining and maintaining optimum environmental quality; and stimulates, expands, and coordinates 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.

Related Web links

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)  NEPA provides national policy, a framework for federal agencies to review impacts prior to taking actions, and established the Council on Environmental Quality. For NEPA projects filed with the EPA, go to the Federal EIS Database or view the Federal EIS’s Currently Open for Public Comment/Review.

President’s Council on Environmental Quality The Council on Environmental Quality coordinates federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives.

Environmental Protection Agency The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment.

Coastal Zone Management Program Provides a description of Hawaii’s land use and environmental management system, and the special components of the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program.

International Association for Impact Assessment The IAIA is a forum for advancing innovation, development, and communication of best practice in impact assessment.