Hawaii County at Risk of Losing 11 Million in Federal Funding for Highway Project

In a July 7, 2017 letter Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim sent to State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson Suzanne Case, Mayor Kim is asking for an “expeditious review” of the Section 106 process  so that the county doesn’t risk losing 11 million dollars in federal funding for the Mamalahoa Highway Rt. 19 Widening Project.

It is not known by me if Case has responded to the Mayor’s request.
Here is the letter:


Dear Ms. Case:


I am once again respectfully asking for your help in getting the subject project through the environmental process; more specifically the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) and the Section 106 process.

We are at a critical state where we need to reach a planning and design conclusion, by August 14, 2017, to encumber Federal obligation funds.  We are still so far away.

The draft Archeological Inventory Survey (AIS) report is presently with SHPD.  The Effect Determination letter is in route to SHPD, from FHWA.  We need an expeditious review and hopefully an approval from the SHPO to conclude this Section 106 process.

I ask for your help because we are in dire need to move this project along, or lose Eleven (11) Million Dollars of Federal funding if deadlines are not met.

Should you need any additional background information, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 808-961-8526 or our Director of Public Works, Mr. Frank De Marco at 808-961-8321.

Mahalo Nui Loa for your help,

Sincerely, Harry Kim


Section 106 of the Act is perhaps the section of the law that is referred to most often. It requires that federal agencies having direct or indirect jurisdiction over a proposed federal, federally assisted, or federally licensed undertaking, prior to approval of the expenditure of funds or the issuance of a license, take into account the effect of the undertaking on any district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, and afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the State Historic Preservation Office, and other interested parties a reasonable opportunity to comment with regard to the undertaking.

This means that before work can commence on a project with any federal involvement, the federal agency involved with the project must consult under Section 106 (NHPA). Section 106 does not apply only to projects that take place on federally-owned land. Whether it is a project undertaken on federal land, such as a military base, or one that is on private land but has received funding from a federal agency, such as Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the federal agency needs to complete consultation under Section 106 before the project may commence. Section 106 also applies when a permit is required from a federal agency, such as the Army Corps of Engineers or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The purpose of Section 106 is to balance historic preservation concerns with the needs of federal undertakings. The review process ensures that federal agencies identify any potential conflicts between their undertakings and historic preservation and resolve any conflicts in the public interest.

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