The Makaha Bridges Project is still being held up thankfully by a critical process the HDOT should have taken before they started the planning and approval process.
“Since the mid-1960s, federal transportation policy has reflected an effort to preserve publicly owned public parks and recreation areas, waterfowl and wildlife refuges, and historic sites considered to have national, state, or local significance. The Department of Transportation Act (DOT Act) of 1966 included a special provision to carry out this effort called Section 4(f).”
The HDOT is attempting to obtain their 4(f) clearance the easiest and quickest means possible without cancelling the project. Malama Makaha is asking for a supporter or two to come forward and volunteer to learn the Federal process and use this knowledge to ensure the “Officials with Jurisdiction” (Parks Department and DLNR) require complete compliance of the Project and HDOT to the fullest extent of the law. This would probably be perfect for an environmental NPO to assist or environmental attorney to assist, but to date none have come forward to assist with the Makaha effort. A motivated detail oriented novice could also prevail on this issue, because the issue is not that complicated; persistence is the most valuable trait that would be desired.
Without a volunteer coming forward, it is very likely the 4(f) process will not be taken seriously by HDOT or the Parks Dept and the de minimis approval route will slide through with little or no oversight.
Please review the Section 4(f) Tutorial recently discovered at the DOT’s site, and consider coming forward in this noble endeavor.
And please consider signing the very important Army Downsizing on Oahu petition – link is at www.oc4ad.com
AL @ Malama Makaha
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 12:09 PM
Subject: Bridge project - 4(f)
I and three others who were with me when we visited Mazie Hirono’s office on the Army Downsizing issue also stopped by FHWA yesterday. The Feds were reluctant to meet with us since this is a total State issue except for the NEPA process in their opinion, but I reminded them of my letter to DOT Secretary Fox and that they were in fact involved with Malama Makaha and our concerns with the 4(f) approval action..
What is the date of the oldest document you have regarding the Bridge Project; anything prior to 2005? Ref the 4(f) issue with the project, the HDOT will likely take an approach asking for f(4) approval of the project via a “de minimis ” approach. This “de minimis” approach will allow easy 4f approval for the HDOT via the “Agency with Jurisdiction” (Parks Dept). The de minimis procedure did not exist before 2005; if the project started before them, technically they should have to do a full blown 4(f) approval, which would theoretically require the project to start all over regarding some hearings. Given the folks involved, it’s unlikely we can stop this on the 4(f) issue, but it has been helping to delay the process for over a year. HDOT earlier said they would have a recommendation to “Agency with Jurisdiction” the by June of this year. Currently they’re still not done. Ps., Okimoto is gone and the Governor is almost gone.
WOW, I just found out there is a 4(f) Tutorial when checking how de minimis is spelled:
DE MINIMIS IMPACT
A de minimis impact involves the use of Section 4(f) property that is generally minor in nature. A de minimis impact is one that, after taking into account avoidance, minimization, mitigation and enhancement measures, results in no adverse effect to the activities, features, or attributes qualifying a park, recreation area, or refuge for protection under Section 4(f). For historic properties, a de minimis impact is one that results in a Section 106 determination of "no adverse effect" or "no historic properties affected." A de minimis impact determination requires agency coordination with the officials having jurisdiction over the Section 4(f) property and opportunities for public involvement. A de minimisimpact determination may not be made when there is a constructive use.
DE MINIMIS IMPACT AND HISTORIC SITES
A determination of de minimis impact on a historic site may be made when all three of the following criteria are satisfied:
1. The process required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) results in the determination of "no adverse effect" or "no historic properties affected" with the concurrence of the
State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO), and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), if the ACHP is participating in the Section 106 consultation;
2. The SHPO and/or THPO, and ACHP, if the ACHP is participating in the Section 106 consultation, is informed of U.S. DOT's intent to make a de minimis impact determination based on their written concurrence in the Section 106 determination; and
3. U.S. DOT has considered the views of any consulting parties participating in the Section 106 consultation.
DE MINIMIS IMPACT AND PARKS, RECREATION AREAS, AND REFUGES
A determination of de minimis impact on parks, recreation areas, and wildlife and waterfowl refuges, may be made when all three of the following criteria are satisfied:
1. The transportation use of the Section 4(f) resource, together with any impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation or enhancement measures incorporated into the project, does not adversely affect the activities, features, and attributes that qualify the resource for protection under Section 4(f);
2. The public has been afforded an opportunity to review and comment on the effects of the project on the protected activities, features, and attributes of the Section 4(f) resource; and
3. The official(s) with jurisdiction over the property are informed of U.S. DOT's intent to make the de minimis impact determination based on their written concurrence that the project will not adversely affect the activities, features, and attributes that qualify the property for protection under Section 4(f).