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Proposed increase to Incidental Take of bat and nēnē at Kaheawa

The state is proposing to issue an amended Incidental Take License at Kaheawa Wind Power II above Mā‘alaea to increase the amount of deaths allowed for the Hawaiian hoary bat and the nēnē during facility operations.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources proposes to approve an amended Habitat Conservation Plan to increase incidental take for the Hawaiian hoary bat from 11 to 62 adults (or juveniles surviving to adult), and for nēnē from 30 to 48 adults (or juveniles surviving to adult) during the remaining 20-year permit that was issued in 2012.

Kaheawa Wind Power II operates a 21-megawatt wind energy generation facility on leased State of Hawaiʻi Conservation District lands and supplies electricity to Maui Electric Company.

The project has an approved Habitat Conservation Plan to monitor and mitigate for take of three bird species and one bat species protected under state and federal Endangered Species laws.

Under the amended plan, KWP II would implement avoidance and minimization measures and monitoring, and provide mitigation commensurate with the new take levels.

According a project Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice, “The proposed action would result in benefits at the local and state level by producing clean, renewable energy in line with Hawaiʻi’s clean energy goals. Effects to the Hawaiian hoary bat and nēnē would be offset by funding research, restoration, or land acquisition to mitigate for the take of each species. Based on the mitigation efforts, no adverse impacts to either species is anticipated.”

Proposed mitigation efforts include:

Public comments on the proposal are due by March 28, 2017. Comments should be sent to the approving agency/accepting authority (Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Glenn Metzler, Habitat Conservation Planning Associate, Glenn.M.Metzler@hawaii.gov 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813) and copy the applicant (Kaheawa Wind Power II, LLC, Mitchell Craig, mcraig@sunedison.com P.O. Box 567, Wailuku, HI 96793) and the consultant (SWCA Environmental Consultants Amanda Childs, achilds@swca.com 1220 SW Morrison, Suite 700, Portland, OR 97205).