Preparing for the La`au Point Hearing
Your opinion matters! The impacts of the proposed development will affect the entire community. Everyone has a right to voice their concerns. Whether you are a part of the silent majority or vocal minority, this is everyone’s chance to be heard. Although the following serves as a guide for commenting specifically on the EIS, it is your right to discuss any aspect of the Master Plan or Molokai Ranch at the November 15 and 16 meeting.
The Line Up
The hearing will begin on Thursday, Nov. 15. Initial signup from 8:00-8:30 a.m., testimony from 8:30 a.m. to noon, break for lunch, testimony from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., break for dinner, testimony from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 16 the hearing will run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. If there is testimony overflow, Friday’s agenda will be altered to begin with testimony. The day will begin with MPL’s presentation, and follow with any questions the commissioners may have of the petitioner (MPL), in order to hopefully clarify any discrepancies.
Before next Thursday
· Study up on the latest copy of MPL’s EIS if you can. A copy of the Proposed Final EIS can be obtained at the Dispatch office in Kaunakakai (please bring a blank CD with you), or you can find an electronic version online at: http://luc.state.hi.us/dockets/a06764molokai/a06764_docket_page.htm
· Feel like tackling a portion of the EIS? The following is what LUC commissioners will be listening for from your testimony:
o Is the La`au Point development adequately described? Does the EIS enable you to fully understand the proposed development and its potential impacts?
o Is the surrounding environment adequately described? Are you able to understand how the project relates to its surroundings?
o Are all the possible impacts adequately described? Is there any particular impact which is not discussed at all, or superficially discussed? Are there any assumptions which appear unreasonable? Is there adequate information in the EIS to support conclusions?
o Are alternatives to the proposed project (including no project at all) adequately explored? Are there other ways to carry out the project which may be less damaging to the environment? Are different designs or approaches discussed sufficiently? What basic improvements can you suggest?
· If you did not submit comments, earlier in the process, this is your opportunity! Your input on the proposed final EIS is still important. Do your best to understand various aspects of the plan and comment accordingly.
· If you did submit comments during the review process, read over the Ranch’s response to decide whether or not your concerns were adequately addressed, if not let the LUC know.
o Responses from the proposing agency should include: a point-by-point discussion of the validity, significance, and relevance of comments, as well as address how the comment was evaluated and considered in planning the proposed action. Ideally this response should serve to resolve any inconsistencies or concerns. o Response letters placed into the text of the final EIS should note any changes that were consequently made to the draft EIS.o If changes were not deemed necessary, reasons why these comments and suggestions were not accepted should be provided.
· Write down any questions or comments you may have concerning the proposed development. There is no such thing as a bad question.
The Day Of
Come prepared. Bring along your list of comments.
Attend when you can. The meeting will span a wide range of hours to accommodate everyone’s schedule. Expect a larger crowd in the evening. If the meeting ends and you have not had a chance to speak, let the commissioners know. They will provide time on Friday for you to give testimony.
Be resilient. Most people dread the thought of speaking in front of large groups. Try reading from prepared notes, or simply submit your comments in written form in person, via mail or email. Email testimonies to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to P.O. BOX 2359, Honolulu, HI 9604-2359.
Listen and learn. Important points will be made throughout the meeting which can spur new ideas. The hearing also provides an excellent opportunity to collaborate with other community members.
After the Hearing
The LUC will choose to either accept or reject MPL’s EIS. If the LUC rejects, a 60-day appeal period is triggered. If they accept, a 60-day legal challenge period is initiated.