Posted by: loomisisc | January 6, 2010

Environment Is a Focus for Honolulu Rail Project

Oahu's future air quality should be considered in Gov. Lingle's environmental review.

In today’s Honolulu Advertiser, is an editorial on the rail project entitled, Hearings need strict environmental focus. This editorial addresses the likelihood that Governor Lingle could opt “for a detailed review, one likely to be conducted by her Office of Environmental Quality Control” and hold public hearings on the rail project.

The Advertiser wrote,” [The Lingle Administration] should apply a laser focus on the concerns raised in the draft EIS, such as the treatment of Hawaiian burials encountered along the route, noise containment, visual blight and the relocation of businesses and other community facilities and the financial and social upheaval that can cause for residents.”

While these are some of the important issues concerning the rail project,  the Office of Environmental Quality Control is under the department of health (and thus the contaminated milk reference in the editorial). Certainly climate change signifiers like air quality and UV index  fall under their domain as well. And if the recent sulfur haze from holiday fireworks, was enough to irk asthmatic residents, just imagine thousands more carcinogenic cars on our island’s environment.

It is the goal of the Honolulu rail project to provide environmentally conscious mass transit as well as creating local jobs for local people. “While there’s sure to be testimony from rail opponents questioning the need for the project and the technology being used … those issues have been settled, ” sad the Advertiser staff. Gov. Lingle is encouraged to be diligent in her review and mindful of the sound work and decisions already made by public officials.

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