Bill Text: HI SCR184 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Requesting The United States Army Corps Of Engineers, State Of Hawaii, And City And County Of Honolulu To Establish A Working Group To Explore Matters Related To The Ala Wai Watershed.

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 17-1)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-04-15 - Report adopted. referred to the committee(s) on FIN as amended in HD 1 with none voting aye with reservations; none voting no (0) and Representative(s) Eli, Gates, Holt, Nakamura excused (4). [SCR184 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SCR184-Amended.html

THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

184

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, STATE OF HAWAII, AND CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU TO ESTABLISH A WORKING GROUP TO EXPLORE MATTERS RELATED TO THE ALA WAI WATERSHED.

 

 


     WHEREAS, the Ala Wai Watershed, located in the City and County of Honolulu, encompasses approximately nineteen square miles, or 12,064 acres, and extends from the ridge of the Koolau Mountains to the nearshore waters of Mamala Bay; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Ala Wai Watershed is made up of Makiki, Manoa, and Palolo Streams, which drain into the Ala Wai Canal, a two-mile-long man-made waterway constructed during the 1920s, not for major flood control, but rather to drain coastal wetlands and allow for the development of Waikiki; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Ala Wai Canal is owned and maintained by the State, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has coordinated with the State and City and County of Honolulu since 2001 to develop a plan to mitigate flooding in the Ala Wai Watershed in the event of a major, once-in-a-century storm; and

 

     WHEREAS, an October 2004 storm that flooded Manoa Valley within the Ala Wai Watershed and was described as a twenty-five-year event caused an estimated $85,000,000 in damage; and

 

     WHEREAS, the likelihood of flooding all of Waikiki and the canal's tributaries is approximately one percent, considered a one-hundred-year event, with potential estimated damage to three thousand structures and requiring more than $1,000,000,000 in repairs; and

 

     WHEREAS, the USACE is currently negotiating terms of an agreement with the State and City and County of Honolulu to proceed with the Ala Wai Canal Flood Risk Management Project, which received approximately $345,000,000 in federal appropriations in July 2018; and

 

     WHEREAS, the appropriation requires local matching funds in the amount of $125,000,000 and a local government sponsor in order to proceed with the project; and

 

     WHEREAS, structural elements of the USACE proposal includes six debris/detention basins in the upper reaches of the watershed's three major streams, one in-stream debris catchment structure, three multi-purpose detention basins, and flood control elements along the Ala Wai Canal including a three- to five-foot tall wall; and

 

     WHEREAS, elements of the USACE proposal would directly affect properties in the watershed, impacting and in some cases displacing individuals and organizations that own or operate on such properties; and

 

     WHEREAS, Oahu neighborhood boards were established by the City and County of Honolulu to increase and assure effective citizen participation in the decisions of government, and several neighborhood boards with boundaries within the Ala Wai Watershed and affected areas have expressed concerns over the proposed project through meetings and adopted resolutions; and

 

     WHEREAS, issues related to the project have been brought to the forefront and have now become a major area of concern to members of the public, community stakeholders, and other interested parties; and

 

     WHEREAS, while there have been opportunities for public input and engagement in the past regarding the Ala Wai Canal Flood Risk Management Project Draft Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement, this body finds that further public engagement is warranted in order to consider those concerns; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, the House of Representatives concurring, that the United States Army Corps of Engineers, State of Hawaii, and City and County of Honolulu are requested to establish a working group to explore matters related to the Ala Wai Watershed and, in particular, the Ala Wai Canal Flood Risk Management Project; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to:

 

     (1)  Facilitate public meetings to encourage dialogue among members of the public, community stakeholders, representatives from the State, City and County of Honolulu, and United States Army Corps of Engineers, and other interested parties;

 

     (2)  Record and compile concerns submitted to the working group; and

 

     (3)  Develop and assess good design options to address community concerns, including but not limited to mitigating disruption to schools and institutions that have cultural or historical significance, minimizing adverse impacts on private property owners, and implementing appropriate traditional land management practices for ecosystem preservation and restoration including strategies for floodable development in lieu of hard structures and barriers; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to include the following:

 

     (1)  A representative of the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu's administration, who is requested to serve as the chair of the working group;

 

     (2)  A representative or representatives of the USACE;

 

     (3)  A representative or representatives of the Governor's administration;

 

     (4)  A member or members of the Hawaii State Senate;

 

     (5)  A member or members of the Hawaii State House of Representatives;

     (6)  A member or members of the Honolulu City Council;

 

     (7)  A representative or representatives of the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability; and

 

     (8)  Other persons as may be invited by the working group; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any other actions taken pursuant to this measure, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2020; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Commander and District Engineer of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District, Governor, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, Chairperson of the Honolulu City Council, and Chair of the Governing Board of the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability.

Report Title: 

Ala Wai Watershed Working Group

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