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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 13, 2010

Federal authorities to visit Hawaii next week to address rail transit EIS study

Advertiser Staff

Federal Transit Administration and Federal Aviation Administration representatives will be in Hawai'i next week to meet with city and state officials about the long-awaited environmental impact statement for O'ahu's rail transit system.

The two agencies have been coordinating a required review of the statement since last year. A statement issued yesterday by Hannemann's office acknowledged that newly adopted federal aviation regulations have made the review "more complex and challenging" but that city officials have been working with both agencies and state airport officials to resolve the issue. The proposed rail system would include areas near the Honolulu International Airport.
"I was happy when FTA administrator Peter Rogoff called this week to advise me that his agency is scheduling a special meeting in Honolulu next Wednesday to resolve this situation," Hannemann said in the release. "I understand FAA and FTA are sending their technical people to meet with the State and City to inform us of their analysis and to thoroughly discuss the best approach to move forward. Rest assured that I will have my A-team of technical transit professionals at this session."
Hannemann characterized the review of the statement as being "in the home stretch," adding that "further delays in the rail transit project are unacceptable."
City officials had hoped to secure the release of the statement from the FTA late last year, then again last month.
Once the statement is released, it must still be reviewed and accepted by Gov. Linda Lingle, who has previously said she intends to conduct a private review of the project's financial plan.