[Federal Register: October 4, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 191)]
[Page 57888-57889]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Application for an Incidental Take Permit for the Kaheawa 
Pastures Wind Generation Facility, Ukumehame, Maui, Hawaii

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Receipt of application; notice of availability.


SUMMARY: In response to an application from Kaheawa Wind Power, LLC 
(applicant), the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is considering 
issuing an incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of 
the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In response to this application, we 
are making it available for public review and comment. If approved, the 
permit would authorize take of species listed under the ESA incidental 
to otherwise lawful activities associated with the proposed Kaheawa 
Pastures Wind Energy Generation Facility.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before December 5, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Please address written comments to Jeff Newman, Assistant 
Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, 
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850. You may also send comments by facsimile to 
(808) 792-9580.

Conservation Plan Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific 
Islands Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, 
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850; telephone: (808) 792-9400.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The permit application and Environmental 
Assessment are available for public review and comment. The application 
includes a proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP).
    Documents are posted on the Internet at http://pacificislands.fws.gov.
 Alternatively, you may obtain copies of these 

documents by calling the person named in the section of this notice 
titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, or by writing to the person 
named in the section titled ADDRESSES. Copies of these documents also 
are available for public inspection and review during normal business 
hours at the office listed under ADDRESSES. In addition, you may view 
documents at the following locations on the island of Hawaii: Hawaii 
State Library, 478 South King Street, Honolulu; Kahului Public Library, 
90 School Street, Kahului; Kihei Public Library, 35 Waimahaihai Street, 
Kihei; and the Lahaina Public Library, 680 Wharf Street, Lahaina.
    We specifically request information, views, and opinions from the 
public on the proposed Federal action of issuing a permit, including 
the identification of any aspects of the human environment not already 
analyzed in our Environmental Assessment. Further, we specifically 
solicit information regarding the adequacy of the HCP as measured 
against our permit issuance criteria found in 50 CFR 13.21, 17.22, and 
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their identity from the administrative record. We will honor such 
request to the extent allowed by law. If you wish us to withhold your 
identity (e.g., individual name, home address, and home phone number), 
you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. We 
will make all submissions from organizations, agencies or businesses, 
and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or 
officials of such entities, available for public inspection in their 


    Section 9 of the ESA and Federal regulations prohibit the ``take'' 
of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. The 

[[Page 57889]]

``take'' means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, 
capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct (16 
U.S.C. 1538). However, under section 10(a) of the ESA, we may issue 
permits to authorize ``incidental take'' of listed fish and wildlife 
species. Incidental take is defined by the ESA as take that is 
incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful 
activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened 
and endangered species are found at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, 
respectively. All species included on the permit would receive 
assurances under the Service's ``No Surprises'' regulation.
    The applicant has applied to the Service for a 20-year incidental 
take permit for the endangered Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma 
sandwichensis), threatened Newell's (Townsend's) Shearwater (Puffinus 
auricularis newelli), endangered Nene (Branta sandvicensis), and the 
endangered Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) (covered 
species), pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. The activities 
proposed to be covered by the permit include the construction and 
operation of the island of Maui's first commercial wind energy 
generation facility. The proposed facility would consist of 20 General 
Electric wind-generation turbines, situated in a single articulated row 
at an elevation extending from approximately 2,000 to 3,200 feet in the 
vicinity of existing Maui Electric Company (MECO) transmission lines. 
The height of each proposed monopole steel turbine tower is 55 meters 
(180 feet), and the diameter of the rotors is 70.5 meters (231 feet), 
for a total peak structural height of approximately 90 meters (296 
feet). The proposed project would include an operation and maintenance 
facility, a substation and wind monitoring equipment, all situated in 
proximity to the turbines, as well as improvements and some realignment 
to an existing four-wheel-drive access road.
    The entire facility has the capacity to generate 30 megawatts of 
power, which would eliminate the use of approximately 150,000 to 
250,000 barrels of oil annually, thereby reducing annual emissions from 
the MECO power plant by approximately 177.6 million pounds of carbon 
dioxide, 1.24 million pounds of sulfur dioxide and 0.32 million pounds 
of nitrogen oxides.
    Incidental take of covered species may occur as a result of these 
proposed covered activities. The applicant proposes to avoid, minimize, 
and mitigate the impacts of the taking of these species by implementing 
at a minimum the following measures: (1) Using ``monopole'' steel 
tubular towers to eliminate perching and nesting opportunities and 
minimize collision risk; (2) utilizing a rotor with a significantly 
lower rotation speed (11-20 rpm) which makes the rotor more visible 
during operations; (3) choosing a site in proximity to existing 
electrical transmission lines to eliminate the need for an overhead 
transmission line from the project to the interconnect location; (4) 
restricting construction activity to daylight hours to avoid the use of 
nighttime lighting; (5) implementing a minimal lighting plan for the 
wind turbines and minimizing on-site lighting to reduce impacts to 
birds attracted to lights; (6) limiting on-site vegetation to that 
which is already established to eliminate new foraging attractions for 
Nene; (7) conducting surveys during nesting and fledging seasons of the 
covered birds during the first year of project operation to better 
understand the species' habits and population status and document the 
response to turbines; (8) conducting surveys to locate unknown or 
unconfirmed nesting colonies of Hawaiian Petrels and Newell's 
Shearwaters in West Maui, estimate nest numbers and distribution, 
identify management needs and implement management measures where 
possible; (9) providing financial contribution to the Nene propagation 
and release program and funding construction and operation of a new 
release facility for Nene for 5 years; and (10) contributing $20,000 to 
the Hawaiian Bat Research Cooperative and conducting surveys for bat 
activity within the project area.
    Our Environmental Assessment considers the direct, indirect, and 
cumulative effects of the proposed action of permit issuance, including 
the measures that would be implemented to minimize and mitigate such 
impacts. The Environmental Assessment contains an analysis of two 
alternatives: (1) The No Action Alternative (no permit issuance); and 
(2) the Proposed Action Alternative (construction and operation of the 
Kaheawa Pastures Wind Generation Facility as proposed with the issuance 
of the permit and implementation of the HCP). Alternative turbine 
designs and alternative sites were considered but not analyzed in 
detail in the Environmental Assessment because these alternatives were 
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(a) of the ESA and 
the regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 
(40 CFR 1506.6). We will evaluate the permit application, associated 
documents, and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the 
application meets the requirements of NEPA regulations and section 
10(a) of the ESA. If we determine that those requirements are met, we 
will issue a permit to the applicant.

    Dated: September 28, 2005.
David J. Wesley,
Deputy Regional Director, Regional Office, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 05-19825 Filed 10-3-05; 8:45 am]