HEPA Glossary: Key Terms & Definitions for Developers and Consultants

HEPA Key Terms & Definitions

Action: Any program or project to be initiated by an agency or applicant. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-2)

Approval: A discretionary consent required from an agency prior to implementation of an action. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-2)

Cultural Impact Assessment: A document that assesses the effects of a proposed action on the cultural practices and resources of a community, including the cultural, historical, and archaeological aspects of the community's relationship with the land. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-2)

Cumulative Impact: The impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time. (Haw. Admin. Rules § 11-200.1-2)

Discretionary Consent: A consent, sanction, or recommendation from an agency for which judgment and free will may be exercised by the issuing agency, as distinguished from a ministerial consent. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-2)

Environmental Assessment (EA): A written evaluation to determine whether an action may have a significant environmental effect. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-2)

Environmental Impact: An effect of any kind, whether immediate or delayed, on any component of the environment. (Haw. Admin. Rules § 11-200.1-2)

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): An informational document prepared in compliance with chapter 343, Hawai'i Revised Statutes. The initial statement filed for public review shall be referred to as the draft environmental impact statement and shall be distinguished from the final environmental impact statement which is the document that has incorporated the public's comments and the responses to those comments. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-2)

Exempt Classes of Action: Specific types of actions that fall within certain classes that shall generally be exempted from the preparation of an environmental assessment. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-6(a)(2); Haw. Admin. Rules § 11-200.1-15)

Exemption Notice: A notice produced in accordance with subchapter 8 for an action that a proposing agency or approving agency on behalf of an applicant determines to be exempt from preparation of an environmental assessment. (Haw. Admin. Rules § 11-200.1-2)

Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI): A determination by an agency based on an environmental assessment that an action not otherwise exempt will not have a significant effect on the environment and therefore does not require the preparation of an environmental impact statement. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-2)

Hawai'i Environmental Policy Act (HEPA): The state law that establishes a system of environmental review at the state and county levels which shall ensure that environmental concerns are given appropriate consideration in decision making along with economic and technical considerations. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-1)

Historic Property: Any building, structure, object, district, area, or site, including heiau and underwater site, which is over fifty years old. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 6E-2)

Mitigation: Avoiding an impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action; minimizing an impact by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation; rectifying an impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment; reducing or eliminating an impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action; or compensating for an impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments. (Haw. Admin. Rules § 11-200.1-2)

Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC): The office that implements Hawai'i's environmental impact statement law, Chapter 343, Hawai'i Revised Statutes. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 341-3)

Preparation Notice: A written notice that an action is determined to require an environmental impact statement based on either an agency's judgment and experience that the proposed action may have a significant effect on the environment or from the agency's review of an applicant's detailed project description or an agency's review of public comments submitted in response to an environmental assessment determination that a full environmental impact statement is necessary. (Haw. Admin. Rules § 11-200.1-2)

Proposing Agency: Any state or county agency that proposes an action under chapter 343, Hawai'i Revised Statutes. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-2)

Significant Effect: The sum of effects on the quality of the environment, including actions that irrevocably commit a natural resource, curtail the range of beneficial uses of the environment, are contrary to the State's environmental policies or long-term environmental goals as established by law, or adversely affect the economic welfare, social welfare, or cultural practices of the community and State. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-2)

State Environmental Council: A council established within the Department of Health to serve as a liaison between the Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control and the general public. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 341-3(c))

Supplemental EIS: An updated EIS prepared for an action for which an EIS was previously accepted, but which has since changed substantively in size, scope, intensity, use, location, or timing, among other things. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 343-5(g))

Tiering: The incorporation by reference in a project-specific environmental impact statement of previous broader environmental impact statements which discuss issues relevant to the project-specific statement. Tiering can reduce the need for extensive discussion of issues in the project-specific statement and instead allow the discussion to focus on project-specific issues. (Haw. Admin. Rules § 11-200.1-2)

Trigger: Any use or activity listed in Section 343-5(a), Hawai'i Revised Statutes, that requires preparation of an environmental assessment. (Haw. Admin. Rules § 11-200.1-2)

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A Note to Our Readers: We hope this guide is a valuable resource in helping you better understand the . However, it's not a substitute for professional advice and doesn't cover every scenario. Always consult with regulatory bodies and professionals for the most current advice and project-specific guidance.