(BIVN) – On Thursday, the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents will decide whether or not to approve a second round of public hearings on proposed administrative rules for ““Public and Commercial Activities on Mauna Kea Lands.”
The Office of Maunakea Management is recommending that the hearings be held after it revised the first draft of the rules, which were critiqued in September 2018 during an initial round of public hearings.
During a recent meeting of the Maunakea Management Board, which oversees the Office of Maunakea Management under the University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo, OMKM director Stephanie Nagata detailed the changes that were made to the proposed rules in response to the feedback they received at the first hearings. “Among the issues addressed in the revised draft were concerns regarding Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, limits on the use of cell phones and flashlights, permit requirements for large groups and public assemblies, and allowing only four-wheel drive vehicles above Halepōhaku, the mid-level facility,” the university says.
In a recent media release, UH stated:
That revised draft was utilized during three-month informal consultation process that included meetings with stakeholder groups and an opportunity for the public to submit comments. In addition to direct outreach, approximately 108 written comments were received, in addition to approximately 140 responses from a third-party, online petition. These comments from the informal consultation were utilized to prepare the new draft.
If approved by Regents, four public hearings are likely to be held – possibly in June – in Hilo and Waikoloa on Hawaiʻi Island, and in Kahului, Maui and in Honolulu. “The public is strongly encouraged to continue to participate in the process, as all testimony will be taken into consideration as the rules are finalized,” a UH media release stated.
After the hearings, the rules “will then be updated if necessary and be brought back before the UH Board of Regents for consideration at a publicly noticed meeting where further public testimony will be accepted. If approved by the Board of Regents at that time, the rules will proceed through the remainder of the Administrative Rules process to the governor for final review and approval,” UH says.
The Regents will take up the request at their April 18 meeting at Leeward Community College.