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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Hawaii Geothermal and Cable System Development Permit (7-HI-a)


Geothermal and Cable System Development Permit Process

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is authorized to organize a consolidated permit process for developing a geothermal power plant and a deep water cable system to transmit the energy from one island to another island under Hawaii Revised Statute 196D and has developed administrative rules under Hawaii Administrative Rules 13-185. The consolidated permit process is intended to coordinate and streamline permitting requirements from a wide spectrum of areas, including federal, state, and county authorities for land use, planning, environmental, and other regulatory requirements for developing a geothermal power plant and inter-island cable transmission system. The DLNR furthers these objectives by putting together an interagency group of representatives from the federal government and state and county agencies whose permitting functions are not transferred to the DLNR for purposes of the project. Additionally, the DLNR forms a consolidated permit application and review team from the a selection of the interagency group members to assist in coordinating the the specific permits and approvals required for the project.

7-HI-a.1 to 7-HI-a.2 - Is the Developer Seeking to Build a Geothermal Power Plant and an Inter-island Deep Water Transmission System

If the developer is seeking to build a geothermal power plant and then transmit the energy to another island through an inter-island deep water transmission cable system. the developer may enter the Geothermal and Cable System Development consolidated permitting process. If the developer is seeking only to develop a geothermal power plant, the developer should see the Renewable Energy Facility Siting Process.

Renewable Energy Facility Siting Process:
7-HI-b

7-HI-a.3 - Is the Developer Seeking to Reclassify Land Areas Greater than 15 Acres or Land 15 Acres or Less in the Conservation District

If the developer is seeking to reclassify land areas greater than fifteen acres or land fifteen acres or less in the conservation district the developer will need to file a Written Petition for Boundary Amendment. For purposes of geothermal and cable system development projects, the functions of the land use commission related to district boundary amendments under Hawaii Revised Statute 205-3.1 and change of zoning under Revised Statute 205-5 are transferred to the DLNR.

7-HI-a.4 – Written Petition for Boundary Amendment

The applicant must file a written petition for boundary amendment with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division. The petition must be in writing and provide a statement of the authorization or relief sought and the statutory provisions under which authorization or relief is sought. For petitions to reclassify properties from the conservation district to any other district, the petition must include:

  • An environmental impact statement or negative declaration approved by the DLNR for the proposed reclassification request;
  • The legal name of the petitioner,
  • The address amd description of the property;
  • The petitioner’s proprietary interest in the property and a copy of the deed or lease with written authorization of the fee owner to file the petition;
  • The type of development proposed and details regarding the development including timetables, cost, assessment of the effects of the development; and
  • An assessment of the need for reclassification.

7-HI-a.5 to 7-HI-a.6 - Does the Petition Reclassify Properties from the Conservation District to any other District

If the Written Petition for Boundary Amendment reclassifies properties from the conservation district to any other district, the developer must complete an environmental review.

State Environmental Review:
9-HI-a

7-HI-a.7 – Geothermal/Cable Development Consolidated Application Form

DLNR will provide applicants with a geothermal/cable development consolidated permit application form, and will provide necessary assistance to applicants filling out the form.

7-HI-a.8 to 7-HI-a.9 - Is the Application Complete

The DLNR reviews the application materials for completeness and accepts the application if complete.

7-HI-a.10 to 7-HI-a.11 - Send Copies of Application Materials to Required Parties and Publish Public Notice in Newspaper

DLNR must serve copies of the application upon:

  • The county planning department and planning commission within which the subject land is situated;
  • The Director or a designated representative of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT);
  • All persons with a property interest in the property; and
  • All persons with a property interest lying within 1000 feet of the subject property, recorded in the county’s real property tax records at the time the petition is filed.

The copies of the application must be accompanied by a notice for a public hearing to be conducted on the appropriate island. The DLNR must set the hearing for between sixty and one hundred eighty days after the developer has filed a proper application. The DLNR must also mail notice of the hearing to all persons who have made a timely written request for advance notice of boundary amendment proceedings. Additionally, notice of the hearing must be published at least once in a newspaper in the county in which the land sought to be redistricted is situated as well as once in a newspaper of general circulation in the state at least thirty days in advance of the hearing.

7-HI-a.12 to 7-HI-a.13 Intervention and Hearing for Boundary Amendment Proceedings

DLNR accepts applications for leave to intervene from any member of the public, provided the department may deny an application if it appears it is substantially the same as the position of a party already admitted to the proceeding and if admission of additional parties will render the proceedings inefficient and unmanageable. The petition for intervention must be filed with the DLNR within fifteen days after the notice of hearing is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the state.

7-HI-a.14 to 7-HI-a.15 - Does the DLNR and Other Applicable Authorities Approve the Application

The DLNR and other federal, state, and county authorities that have not transferred approval authority to the DLNR approve the applicable permits for developing the geothermal power plant and deep water cable system.

When approving the Written Petition for Boundary Amendment the DLNR will use the criteria set out in Hawaii Administrative Rules 13-185-3




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