MPL Submits New Document
Molokai Ranch files Draft Environmental Impact Statement
By Jennifer Smith
In an almost unprecedented turn around, Molokai Properties Limited (MPL) has submitted a new Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for their proposed La`au Point Development. Similar to their first go around in 2006, MPL found the holiday season a prime time for filing their lengthy document. The Dec. 21 filing with the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) came before the New Year, as promised by John Sabas, MPL’s general manager of community affairs. Local born and raised Sabas was listed in the first Draft EIS as one of the contact persons at MPL. However, in the new Draft EIS his name has been replaced by Honolulu-based Dan Orodenker, MPL’s attorney and Land Manager.This is the second Draft EIS prepared by MPL for its controversial La’au Point project, which calls for the development of up to 400 luxury dwelling units along the undeveloped western and southern shorelines of Molokai.MPL chose to withdraw their Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), last November after receiving overwhelming public testimony in opposition to their proposed development, and negative responses from Land Use Commissioners. The new draft document is meant to address several of the concerns raised during the Nov. 15-16 Land Use Hearing. However, like the first Draft EIS, MPL has chosen not to include several key documents including those relative to the operation and formation of the Community Development Corporation (CDC). The CDC is scheduled to receive over $10,000,000 in cash from the sale of the La’au Point lots to pentamillionaires who according to MPL will be seeking a “second or third home.”The new MPL document also fails to include the Agricultural and Rural Reserve Easement documents that provide for the management and development of the 24,000 acres MPL claims will be preserved from any future development. The Draft EIS will be subject to a 45-day public comment period, which began on Jan. 8, when the OEQC published an environmental notice of the document, Environmental Health Specialist Leslie Segundo said.The 45-day review period for the community and others will end on February 22 unless extended by MPL management. MPL granted an extension of the review period on the first Draft EIS it prepared in response to a request by the community.A copy of MPL’s Draft EIS is available at the Molokai Public Library, online by clicking the link at The Molokai Dispatch’s website: http://www.themolokaidispatch.com/mpl-eis.exe, and at the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s website under EA and EIS Online Library>Molokai>2008 DEIS La`au Point.Anyone can provide comments on the document. However, they must be received or postmarked by February 22, 2008. Comments must be sent to the State Land Use Commission, P.O. Box 2359, Honolulu, HI 96804 and the Office of Environmental Quality Control, 235 S. Beretania St., Suite 702, Honolulu, HI 96813.