Conserving the Nature of America
Media Advisory
Records of Decision Now Available for Four Hawai'i Wind Energy Projects

September 20, 2019

Contact(s):

Holly Richards
holly_richards@fws.gov
808-282-9442                       



Hawai‘i – Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of Records of Decision proposing to issue four separate incidental take permits for wind energy projects in Hawai'i. The permits – three of which are amendments to existing permits – would authorize incidental take of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat, Hawaiian goose and Hawaiian petrel.

The four wind energy projects – Pakini Nui Wind Farm on the island of Hawai‘i, Kaheawa Wind Power II and Auwahi Wind projects on Maui, and Kawailoa Wind Power project on O‘ahu – each applied to the Service for an incidental take permit or permit amendment under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The four wind energy facilities are already constructed and in operation. The Service is required to evaluate all permit applications and make decisions based on the best available science and the requirements of the ESA.

The Records of Decision follow the proposed action described in Chapter 2.2 of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement that was released on August 2, 2019.  The permit approvals will also require the implementation of a new Habitat Conservation Plan for the Pakini Nui Wind Farm and major amendments to the three existing HCPs for Auwahi WindKaheawa Wind Power II and Kawailoa Wind Projects.

The Service is issuing these Records of Decision following a 30-day period during which the issuance of each permit was evaluated independently. The final PEIS that was used to evaluate the decisions was published along with the four associated HCPs. Those documents were prepared after incorporating public comments and suggestions collected during a 30-day scoping period, a 45-day public comment period, and six public meetings.

The Service is committed to protecting endangered species such as the Hawaiian hoary bat, Hawaiian goose and Hawaiian petrel. Under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, HCPs are voluntary agreements between the Service and a landowner, private company or non-federal agency that ensure harmful effects to threatened and endangered species are avoided, minimized and mitigated.

The Service regularly engages conservation partners, the public, landowners, government agencies and other stakeholders in our ongoing effort to identify innovative strategies for conserving and recovering species while supporting important economic activities.

More information about this process, including copies of the decisions, supporting documents, a timeline of this process and information about the public outreach, can be found at http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/


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