Richard Ha writes:
I testified in favor of exempting exploratory slim wells from the requirement of preparing an Environmental Assessement or an Environmental Impact Statement. (An EIS is already required for actual production wells.)
The reason I testified in favor of an exemption is because I feel there is already adequate protection in place. And it’s an important move forward – the age of cheap oil is over and Hawai‘i's people are very vulnerable.
Here are some of the checks and controls:
- The Board of Land and Natural Resources will have to approve all exploratory well applications.
- A well-drilling permit will be required from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).
- Permits will be necessary from the Department of Health clean air branch and drinking water branch, and a community noise permit will also be required.
- Also, there are applicable Hawaii Administrative Rules to mitigate impacts from: soil erosion, surface groundwater protection, air quality protection, noise impacts, protection of Fish/Wildlife/Botanical Resources, protection of cultural resources, waste disposal, environmental monitoring, blowout prevention and restoration of well site.
In addition, exploratory wells cannot be sited in conservation, urban or sensitive areas. They are allowed in Ag-zoned land.
More details on all this: