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.

NEW! The new rules, HAR Chapter 11-200.1, are in effect as of Aug. 9, 2019.
Governor Ige signed the new rules on July 30, 2019.

If you would like to review what changed from the now-repealed HAR Chapter 11-200 to the newly adopted HAR Chapter 11-200.1, please review the unofficial Ramseyer version in Appendix 2 of the Rationale document here:
http://oeqc2.doh.hawaii.gov/Laws/v2.0-Proposed-HAR-11-200.1-Rules-Rationale-App-2-Ramseyer-Unofficial_96-2.0.pdf

Please refer to the Rules Update page (http://health.hawaii.gov/oeqc/rules-update/) for links to additional documentation and information about the rules update process.

Note: The webmap has been temporarily removed while we rework the maps and data. If you have further questions about this, please contact OEQC directly.

Environmental Impact Statement Rules Update

The Environmental Council has repealed HAR Chapter 11-200 and adopted HAR Chapter 11-200.1. This chapter establishes the procedures, content requirements, criteria, and definitions for applying Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 343, the environmental impact statement law. The rules update page includes links to Council meeting agendas and minutes, draft rules documents, and a timeline of events.

The Environmental Notice

The Environmental Notice is published on the 8th and 23rd of each month and includes actions undergoing environmental review in Hawaiʻi, habitat conservation plans, safe harbor agreements, coastal zone and shoreline notices, some 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.  Please be aware that the library is composed of 3 sections, that relate to 3 separate rules that governed the process over time (pre-1996, 1996-2019, 2019-present).

Exemptions

Agencies may declare minor or routine actions that trigger Hawaiʻi environmental review, whether proposed by themselves or by applicants, exempt from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment. To exempt an action, the agency must either: (1) assert that the specific activity does not have the potential to adversely affect the environment [i.e., be considered “de minimis“], or (2) show that it falls within one of the 10 General types of action established in HAR § 11-200.1-15(c) and then obtain advice of other agencies or individuals with jurisdiction or expertise on the exemption. Agencies can guide their exemption determinations by identifying the activity on their Environmental Council-concurred exemption list. 

GuidanceForms

Find the OEQC’s citizen’s guide to Hawaiʻi’s environmental policy act (HEPA), the more detailed guidebook, the 2019 and 2020 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. Process to enact these statutes are established by Chapter 11-200.1, 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