Hawaii Tribune-Herald
Notice #: 0001339972-01
Public Notices

Early Notice and Public Review of a Proposed Activity in a Floodplain and/or Wetlands Date: September 1, 2021 To: All interested Agencies, Groups and Individuals This is to give notice that the County of Hawai’i has conducted an evaluation as required by Executive Orders 11988 and 11990, and the Floodplain Management&Wetlands Protection Guidelines adopted by the Water Resources Council, to determine the potential effect that its activity in the floodplain and wetlands will have on the human environment for funds received through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated under Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. The allocation of CDBG-DR funding to the County is a result of the 2018 Kilauea Volcano eruption and subsequent disaster declaration. The proposed work includes a Voluntary Housing Buyout Program (VHBP) and Housing Relocation Services Program (HRSP) as primary activities to be implemented utilizing Disaster Recovering funding. The County will acquire properties, which have been impacted by the eruption event, through the VHBP and retain these properties as open space, natural areas, or comparable land use. The County will aid individuals, displaced by the eruption event, through the HRSP by providing financial assistance in securing housing. The proposed project(s) are located within the Puna District, including but not limited to the following census block groups, 211.01 Block Groups 1 and 2, and 211.06 Block Groups 2 and 4, as well as a portion of land affected by underground magma located off of Highway 130 near the Iilewa Crater. The project area is located south of the Hilo International Airport, generally bounded by Highway 130 to the West, Hawaiian Beaches subdivision to the north, and the coastline adjacent to the Pacific Ocean to the east and the south. The homes and parcels are of varying square footages. Portions of the project area are mapped as flood zones, Zone VE and Zone AE of the flood plain, with Base Flood Elevations (BFE) ranging from 12 feet to 33 feet as established on FIRM Map Panels 1551661195F, 155166201F, 1551661202F, 1551661204F, 1551661210F, 1551661212F, 1551661213F, 1551661214F, 1551661440F, 15516611445F, and 1551661655F (September 29, 2017). Portions of project area are also mapped as wetlands as depicted on the National Wetlands Inventory (https://www.fws.gov/wetlands/data/mapper.html). Per the 1991 HUD Volcanic Policy on the Island of Hawai’i, HUD funds will be utilized by the County for disaster recovery buy out of applicant properties, and will not be used within USGS lava flow zones for construction or any sort of rehabilitation work. There are three primary purposes for this notice. First, people who may be affected by activities in a floodplain or wetland, and those who have an interest in the protection of the natural environment, should be given an opportunity to express their concerns and provide information about these areas. Second, an adequate public notice program can be an important public educational tool. The dissemination of information about a floodplain or wetland can facilitate and enhance Federal efforts to reduce the risks associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas. Third, as a matter of fairness, when the Federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in a floodplain or wetland, it must inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk. The County of Hawai’i has additional information on the VHBP and HRSP available for public inspection, review, and copying upon request by contacting Mr. Douglas Le, Disaster Recovery Officer, at (808) 961-8996 or kilauearecovery@hawaiicounty.gov. Information is also available at the County of Hawai’i offices on an appointment only basis (by phone at 808-961-8996, office located at 100 Pauahi Street, Suite 200, Hilo, HI 96720). Written comments must be received by the County of Hawai’i at the following address on or before September 16, 2021: County of Hawai’i Disaster Recovery Team, attention Douglas Le, 100 Pauahi Street, Suite 200, Hilo, HI 96720, during the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Comments may also be submitted via email at kilauearecovery@hawaiicounty.gov. All such comments will be taken into account by the County of Hawai’i prior to its decision on the proposed projects. (HTH1339972 9/1/21)