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NPS Seeking Kalaupapa Electrical System Improvements

KNHP News Release

The National Park Service (NPS) is requesting input and manaʻo on options to rehabilitate the existing electrical system at Kalaupapa National Historical Park and the Kalaupapa Settlement. At this time, the park is initiating a 45-day public scoping period in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

The current electrical system at the park was installed in 1969 and is owned by State of Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) and the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. An overhead power line, owned by the Maui Electrical Company (MECO), follows the Kalaupapa trail and terminates at the 300kVA MECO-owned substation on the Kalaupapa peninsula; the existing overhead system is tied in and managed by the NPS.

Power outages occur frequently within the park because of deteriorated transformers, worn and frayed transmission lines, and pole and insulator failures. Surges from the MECO-owned electrical system also result in loss of power. The park’s electrical system is outdated and inadequate, creating health and safety concerns for patient-residents, NPS and HDOH staff, and visitors. Rehabilitating and upgrading the electrical system would improve efficiency, comply with current electrical code standards, improve reliability, reduce deferred maintenance, and remove health and safety concerns. They may also need to buy circuit breakers and other equipment to further upgrade the overall electrical system.

This public scoping comment period represents the first opportunity for the public to be involved in the planning process. Once NPS has gathered input, it anticipates moving on to the Environmental Assessment phase of the project. The park also welcomes comments during this period about potential effects to historic properties to assist in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. A second opportunity for public comment on the project will be provided upon publication of the EA.

As part of the comment period, NPS would like to solicit input on two proposed alternatives. The NPS will also host one virtual public scoping meeting using Zoom on Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. You are invited to attend this meeting to learn more, discuss your thoughts, and ask NPS representatives any questions you may have. Please use the following hyperlink to join by PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone: zoom.us/j/92529223600

Or join by phone by dialing one of the numbers below and entering the Webinar ID:
+1-833-548-0276 (Toll Free)
Webinar ID: 925 2922 3600 #

For additional information on the project background, proposed alternatives, and how to attend the virtual meeting, please visit parkplanning.nps.gov/KALA.

Until January 29, 2021, there are a variety of ways you can provide feedback during the public scoping process.
• On the web (preferred method) at parkplanning.nps.gov/KALA
• By email at: KALA_consultation@nps.gov
• By mail:
Rehabilitate and Upgrade the Existing Electrical System EA
Superintendent Erika Stein Espaniola
P.O. Box 2222
Kalaupapa, HI 96742


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