Hawaii’s DLNR Holds Hilo Meeting on Proposed Civil Penalty System For Natural Resource Violations

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Hawaii's DLNR Holds Hilo Meeting on Proposed Civil Penalty System For Natural Resource ViolationsHONOLULU — In an effort to step up the protection of the state’s natural and cultural resources, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold a public informational meeting in Hilo on draft rules to establish an administrative law system to process DLNR’s civil (non-criminal) enforcement cases in a just, expeditious and cost-effective manner. The meeting will take place on Thursday, August 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hilo State Office Building, 75 Aupuni St. in Conference Rooms A, B, and C. The Department is holding a second meeting in Hilo due to public request.

DLNR proposes to amend Hawai‘i Administrative Rules, Chapter 13-1, to add a new Subchapter 7, Civil Resource Violations System, that will authorize DLNR to: Issue citations for an alleged civil resource violation;

Assess an administrative penalty for such a violation according to a penalty schedule adopted by the Board of Land and Natural Resources; and

Summon that person to answer the citation by choosing from three options – 1) pay the fine 2) request mitigation; or 3) contest the citation.

“People in Hawai‘i care deeply about our natural and cultural resources, and want us to do a better job in protecting them and enforcing against violations that harm our lands and environment,” Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson, said.

“The proposed civil penalty system is an important part of our new DLNR strategic plan, and will involve stakeholders and communities. We want to engage the public to help us finalize this draft and prepare for the rule-making process. We believe that public participation will be helpful to us and give us different perspectives,” Thielen said.

“We invite East Hawai‘i residents to attend the informational meeting to gain a better understanding of our enforcement action plan, and to provide their ideas on how we can improve the plan. We will also seek their further input later when we come back for a second round of public hearings,” she added.

Public information meetings have already been held on Maui, Lana‘i, Moloka‘i and Kaua‘i and in Kona and Honolulu. The meetings are intended to inform the public of the proposed enforcement process, to ask questions on the draft rules, and to engage in live discussion with DLNR staff.

DLNR also proposes to amend and compile other subchapters of Chapter 13-1, HAR, which are related to the department’s enforcement process as well. The proposed rules and the accompanying staff submittal to the Land Board are now posted on DLNR’s website. For review and download, please go to http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/, and click on “Announcements.”

Written comments may be submitted at any of the meetings or sent to Department of Land and Natural Resources, Administrative Proceedings Office, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 130, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, or to mailto:DLNR.CO.APO@hawaii.gov.