Agency seeks penalty advice
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is asking Hawaii residents for their opinions on new penalties for natural-resources violations.
Beginning later this month, public informational meetings will be held throughout the state on proposed amendments to the Hawaii Administrative Rules establishing a civil penalty system for noncriminal cases.
The changes would authorize the department to issue citations for alleged resource violations. The department also would be allowed to assess administrative penalties for such violations according to a penalty schedule adopted by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
The department also would be enabled to summon alleged violators to answer citations by choosing to pay a fine, to request mitigation or to contest a citation.
"People in Hawaii care deeply about our natural and cultural resources and want us to do a better job in protecting them and enforcing against violations that harm our lands and environment," Land Board Chairwoman Laura Thielen said Thursday.
"The civil penalty system to be set up under these draft rules is an important part of our new DLNR strategic plan, and will involve stakeholders and communities," she said. "We want to engage the public to help us finalize this draft and prepare for the rule-making process. We believe that public participation will be helpful to us and give us different perspectives," Thielen said.
The public informational meetings will begin Monday on Maui and continue July 18 on Lanai, July 22 on the Big Island, July 24 in Honolulu and July 29 on Kauai before wrapping up Aug. 1 on Molokai.