December, 1999 Home   Newsletters

January 2000

February 2000

League at Opening Day of the Legislature
President's Message
Education Committee Report (Mary Anne Raywid)
Welcome New Members
Honolulu LWV Budget for FY 2000-2001 (Arlene Ellis)
Galleria Threatens our Historic Downtown (Astrid Monson)
Clean Elections Legislation - Campaign Finance Reform (Laure Dillon)
New HEP Executive Director Appointed
Environmental Committee Report (Karen Ah Mai)
LWV Legislative Priorities 2000
Notice for LWV National Training Program

Environmental Committee Report

As the new millennium dawns, we will be watching three major areas:

  1. Electrical Power Issues
  2. Water Distribution Plans
  3. Transportation Issues (The Ala Wai Clean Up)

Each of these is part of the daily living of everyone in the community. How they are handled can make a big difference in the quality of life of our next generation. Here are some things to watch:

1. Power Line Issues

On Oahu, we face power line proliferation over scenic vistas where natural beauty will probably never be recovered in our lifetime. On Kauai and Maui, we face construction of more coal-burning power plants. The problem: utility companies whose monopoly positions enable them to push company desires over community desires. The future: de-regulation of the electricity industry will bring more competition - especially those in large scale energy supply. For example, fuel cells which use hydrogen & oxygen as fuel, have been already tested for automobiles, homes and military communities. Think of them as non-polluting community-sized batteries. Their date for cost-effectiveness is the Year 2000. The need for unsightly long length power lines and coal burning power plants, as pushed by the power companies, is nearly over. Communities throughout the state have expressed the desire to underground utility lines. We hope this millennium will see all new developments assessed against community desires, not utility desires.

2. Water Distribution Plans

The Board of Water Supply is in the process of conducting community discussions on water distribution on Oahu. The philosophy that WATER MUST FOLLOW DEVELOPMENT has been expressed by Cliff Jamile, the head of the Board of Water Supply. The need for separate water systems for drinking and irrigation has already been declared. Expect: the need to move water from one part of the island to another to create intense community dialogues. Expect the availability of Waiahole water and the needs of the Ewa Plain and Kapolei to take center stage.

3. Transportation Issues

As we drive along we are probably unaware that the auto exhaust and minute particles from the brake linings collect on the streets. When it rains, these wash down storm drains and contribute to the toxic nature of the sludge that is found in collection basins such as the Ala Wai Canal and Pearl Harbor, both of which will be dredged soon. The unanswered question is WHERE TO PUT THE SLUDGE?

We tend to treat this as a local problem. Runoff from the hills may be local but the toxic nature of the sludge is largely industrial or automobile produced by everyone who has used the highways. We watch with interest to see whether the City's future transportation plans can alleviate the negative environmental impact of transportation.

Karen Ah Mai

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