DLNR finds significant impact to proposed Oahu zipline

Royal Summit

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has released its final environmental assessment (PDF) about the possibility of building Oahu’s first zipline above Royal Summit in Aiea.

The report found it would have a significant impact if it’s built.

Pursuant to § 11-22-12 SIGNIFICANCE CRITERIA (B) In determining whether an action may have a significant effect on the environment, the agency shall consider every phase of a proposed action, the expected consequences, both primary and secondary, and the cumulative as well as the short-term and long-term effects of the action. In most instances, an action shall be determined to have a significant effect on the environment if it: (3) Conflicts with the state’s long-term environmental policies or goals and guidelines as expressed in chapter 344, HRS, and any revisions thereof and amendments thereto, court decisions, or executive orders; and (4) Substantially affects the economic welfare, social welfare, and cultural practices of the community or State.

The stated purpose of the State’s Environmental Policy is to encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between people and their environment promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of humanity, and enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the people of Hawai‘i. [HRS §344-1].

The Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) report cites eight testimonies in support of the project and fifty against.

The DLNR is requiring the developer to do an Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice (EISPN) as the next step to address concerns by the public and the OCCL.

Specific questions that the office is asking the developer to answer are as follows:

  1. The social and economic impact that new visitor recreation facilities have on neighboring residential communities;
  2. The potential impact of developing visitor facilities outside of the recognized resort areas of Oahu;
  3. The options for mitigating any of the above impacts;
  4. The long-term parameters for development of the parcel (e.g., what will happen when the market for zipline tours slows?).

The DLNR is waiting to hear back from the company.

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