No EIS for path from Nawiliwili to Ahukini

NAWILIWILI — The draft environmental assessment of the proposed 5-mile Nawiliwili-to-Ahukini section of the shared-use path says the project “will not adversely impact the environmental quality of the area” and that a full environmental impact statement will not be required.

The 386-page document, which was published by R.M. Towill Corporation earlier this month, states that “the project will have no significant adverse impact to water quality, air quality, existing utilities, noise levels, social welfare, archaeological sites or wildlife habitat.”

“All anticipated impacts will be temporary and will not adversely impact the environmental quality of the area. Impacts that have been identified will be mitigated,” the assessment’s findings read.

The EA refers only to the newest phase of the project.

The entire path, when completed, will stretch some 16 miles from Nawiliwili in the south to Anahola in the north. Currently, only the 2.3-mile Kapa‘a-to-Kealia stretch has been completed and a 2.5-mile loop at Lydgate Park.

The 2.1-mile Lydgate Park-to-Kapa‘a section will begin construction next year, while the 3-mile Kealia-to-Anahola and 4-mile Ahukini-to-Lydgate Park segments are presently in the environmental assessment phase.

The Nawiliwili-to-Ahukini path contains some nine distinct sections in and around Lihu‘e.

According to the assessment, path segments will connect Ahukini Landing to Ninini Point, Ninini Point to Kalapaki Beach, Kapule Highway to the Kaua‘i Marriott, the Kaua‘i Marriott to Nawiliwili Beach Park, Nawiliwili Park to Niumalu Park, and Lihu‘e Airport to Kapule Highway.

Path segments will also reach the Molokoa Public Facilities Center and the Lihu‘e Civic Center, according to the report.

In an Aug. 7 letter, R.M. Towill Senior Planner Jim Niermann said that the public comment period is open until Sept. 7.

Thomas Noyes of advocacy group Kaua‘i Path said yesterday that a statement would be forthcoming before the deadline, but he had not yet completed his review of the EA and planned to continue studying the document before the group finalizes its comment.

The full report is available on the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s Web site at hawaii.gov/health/

environmental/oeqc/index.

html.

• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or via e-mail at mlevine@kauaipubco.com

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