The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Hawaii Department of Land
and Natural Resources have approved a Federal Incidental Take Permit
and State Incidental Take License as part of a 20-year Habitat Conservation
Plan for the Kaheawa Pastures Wind Energy Generation Facility on Maui.
The federal permit and state license are required when nonfederal
activities are likely to result in the “take” of a threatened or endangered
species that is incidental to carrying out otherwise lawful activities.
“The Service supports alternative energy sources, and we believe this
Habitat Conservation Plan will provide a long-term benefit to the
listed species affected by the construction and operation of the wind
farm,” said Patrick Leonard, field supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife
Service’s Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office.
The plan describes how Kaheawa Wind Power, LLC, will – to the maximum
extent practicable – minimize and mitigate the potential incidental
take of protected species that may result from the construction and
operation of its proposed wind farm. The permit and license authorize
the incidental take of the listed species, not the activities that
result in the take.
Both the Federal and Hawaii Endangered Species Acts provide for the
habitat conservation planning process to allow development activities
to proceed while promoting the conservation of listed species.
"This plan implements one of the most extensive efforts to reduce
impacts to endangered species in the state and the research conducted
will help our department in its efforts to recover these species in
other areas," said Peter Young, DLNR Chairperson.
The plan, incidental take permit and license address potential take
of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat or ‘?pe‘ape‘a; the Hawaiian goose
or n?n?; the Hawaiian petrel or ‘ua‘u; and the threatened Newell’s
shearwater or ‘a‘o that may result from collisions during the construction
and operation of the wind energy generation facility.
“Take,” as defined by the federal Endangered Species Act, means to
harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect,
or attempt to engage in any such act. Harm may include significant
habitat modification where it actually kills or injures a listed species
by impairing essential behavior (e.g., nesting or reproduction).
Kaheawa Wind Power, LLC, is proposing Maui’s first commercial wind
generation facility. The proposed facility would consist of 20 wind-generation
turbines, situated in a single row at an elevation ranging from 2,000
to 3,200 feet. The turbines will be located within the vicinity of
existing Maui Electric Company transmission lines above Ma‘alaea.
Each steel turbine tower is 180 feet high with a rotor diameter of
231 feet, for a total peak structural height of approximately 296
feet. The proposed project includes an operation and maintenance facility,
a substation and wind monitoring equipment, and improvements and some
realignment to an existing four-wheel drive access road. The proposed
facility will have the capacity to generate 30 megawatts of power,
which would eliminate the use of approximately 150,000 – 250,000 barrels
of oil annually and reduce millions of pounds of annual emissions
of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.
The plan provides measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate take of
listed species, as well as minimizing impacts to other nonlisted native
species. It includes up-front mitigation, monitoring and adaptive
management strategies, and an assurance of up to $3.76 million in
funding that is expected to provide a net conservation benefit for
each species over the project duration and proposed 20-year permit
Kaheawa Wind Power, LLC, has already implemented some mitigation and
monitoring measures. They have hired a full-time wildlife biologist
and temporary wildlife technician, purchased two vehicles and equipment,
and established local base operations. Relevant wildlife background
searches, on-site training, protocol development, and development
of a Geographic Information System or GIS are just some of the measures
Documents are posted on the Service’s website at http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/.
Copies may also be obtained by calling 808-792-9400, or by writing
to the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Blvd.,
Room 3-122, Box 50088, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife
and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife
Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands
of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates
69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological
services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws,
administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations,
restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores
wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American
tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees
the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions
of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state
fish and wildlife agencies.
Contact: Ken Foote (USFWS), 808 792 9535 or 282 9442
Clifford Inn (DLNR), 808 587-0407