RAPID/Geothermal/Hawaii/Water Quality

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Hawaii Geothermal Water Quality Assessment(14-HI)

Developers may require permits or approvals for discharge of a point source or nonpoint source pollutant, water quality certification, underground injection control, or other water pollution regulations.

Developers proposing activities that will result in the discharge of nonpoint source pollution must comply with Hawaii’s Polluted Runoff Control Program implemented by the Department of Health Clean Water Branch (CWB) and the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT). The program was implemented as required by federal law under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZARA), 16 U.S.C. 1456 and the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1329.Runoff from construction sites is permitted under Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WCQ) program.

Developers proposing activities that will discharge pollutants from a point source into state water supplies must obtain a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the Department of Health Clean Water Branch (CWB). Permit approval is regulated under H.A.R. 11-55. The permit process involves CWB review of the application, notice and comment, public hearings, and CWB approval.

To ensure construction site runoff will not violate applicable water standards, developers must obtain a Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WCQ) Permit from the Department of Health Clean Water Branch (CWB). WCQ permits are required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251, and Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 11, Chapter 54. No permit is required if no federal license or permit is required, or if no pollutants will be discharged into State waters. WCQ Permit Applications are subject to approval by the CWB. The CWB will provide for notice and comment, and hold public hearings.

Developers proposing to construct, operate, modify, or abandon an underground injection control well must obtain an Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit from the Hawaii Department of Health Safe Drinking Water Branch (SDWB). The permitting process is regulated under H.A.R. 11-23. New underground injection wells require an application with a signature from a geologist or professional engineer. If the proposed activities will inject any substance into an underground source of drinking water, the SDWB must complete a notice and comment process. To complete the application process after construction of the well, the developer must have the well tested and submit a final engineer/geologist report to the SDWB, subject to SDWBs final approval. The UIC permit will be issued upon final approval.

Developers must obtain a variance from pollution control when a facility will discharge a water pollutant in excess of applicable standards. This process if regulated by the Hawaii Department of Health Clean Water Branch (CWB) under H.A.R. 11-62. The application process provides for notice and comment, a hearing, and is subject to CWB approval.

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Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.