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EPA to Host Open House and Public Hearing on Proposed Hawaii Regional Haze Plan on both Maui and Hawaii Island

Release Date: 05/21/2012
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov,

Scheduled for May 31 in Kahului, June 1 in Hilo

HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be holding two public hearings on the proposed Clean Air Act Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan for Hawaii, one in Kahului, Maui on May 31 and one in Hilo, Hawaii Island on June 1.

Regional haze is visibility impairment caused by the cumulative air pollutant emissions from numerous sources over a wide geographic area. This haze obscures the views of scenery at a distance, reducing the beauty of national parks. The EPA plan is designed to achieve progress toward achieving visibility goals at the Haleakala National Park and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the first planning period through 2018.

The proposed plan would impose a cap on pollution from certain oil-fired electric generating units on the Big Island. It is likely that the Hawaii Electric Light Company could meet this cap through improvements in energy conservation and increased reliance on renewable energy already planned as part of Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative. The EPA is not planning to impose any other additional pollution controls as part of this stage of the Regional Haze Program.

The Clean Air Act requires states, in coordination with EPA, the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and other interested parties, to develop and implement air quality protection plans to reduce the pollution that causes visibility impairment in 156 national parks and wilderness areas. Agencies have been monitoring visibility in national parks and wilderness areas since 1988. In 1999, the EPA announced a major effort to improve air quality in national parks and wilderness areas through the Clean Air Act Regional Haze Rule.

The proposed plan for Hawaii is available on the following website: http://www.epa.gov/region9/air/actions/hawaii.html

WHERE AND WHEN:
At each location, EPA is holding an open house meeting for the purpose of providing additional information and informal discussion of the proposed plan, followed by a public hearing to accept oral comments into the record:

MAUI:
Date: May 31, 2012
Time: Open House: 5:30-6:30 pm
Public Hearing 6:30-8:30 pm
Location: The University of Hawaii, Maui College in the Pilina Multipurpose Room
310 W. Kaahumanu Ave.
Kahului, Hawaii 96732

HILO:
Date: June 1, 2012
Time: Open House: 4:30-5:30 pm
Public Hearing: 5:30-7:30 pm
Location: Waiakea High School Cafeteria
155 W. Kawili St.
Hilo, Hawaii 96720

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