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Communicate with the Senate


Whereas Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) has continued in its efforts to build a new high voltage transmission line (known as the Kamoku-Pukele 138 kV Transmission Line Project) through the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, underground but not shielded and above ground across University property, along Wa'ahila Ridge, involving 19 towers as high as 138 ft.;

Whereas this project will have severe negative impacts on the quality of life on campus and on the surrounding communities;

Whereas the basic plan for this project has not changed in 30 years;

Whereas the Wa'ahila Ridge is regarded as a traditional cultural property and is actively used by the native Hawaiian cultural practitioners throughout the community;

Whereas the Ridge is used for teaching and research by University faculty and students;

Whereas new technologies including distributed generation, microturbines, [and] stationary fuel cells provide alternative strategies for achieving increased reliability and quality of electric service;

Whereas overhead transmission lines are more vulnerable to storms than underground systems;

Whereas HECO has yet to demonstrate that the construction of this project will substantially improve the reliability, quality, and cost of service, with numerous proposals remaining uncontested that it in fact will not;

Whereas the Manoa Faculty Senate passed a resolution opposing this project in 1999;

Whereas campus organizations such as ASUH and GSO have also passed resolutions in opposition to this project;

Whereas several neighborhood boards (Manoa, Palolo, and St Louis Heights-Kapahulu-Diamond Head) and community organizations including Life of the Land, the Outdoor Circle, and Malama o Manoa are opposing the project;

Whereas the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other national organizations have expressed concerns about his project and its impact;

Whereas the full impacts of this project on university research, and teaching activities have yet to be fully documented and mitigated in HECO's plans;

Be it resolved that:

1) the University of Hawaii via the Faculty Senate continues to express its strong opposition to these plan;

2) the University of Hawaii join parties in the contested case hearing for the conservation district use application which is before the Land Board of the Department of land and Natural Resources;

3) copies of this resolution be sent to the President of the University, the Chancellor, the Board of Regents, the Governor and legislature of the state of Hawaii, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

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