HONOLULU (AP) The U.S. House voted on Nov. 9 to approve the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which earmarks $30 million for various projects throughout Hawaii, including much needed upgrades to Lanai’s only harbor.
“The bill will fund vital energy and water projects crucial to our Hawaii’s diverse and unique environmental, coastal and harbor needs,’’ Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, said in a news release issued by his Washington office.
“The funding for fiscal year 2006 will go to high-priority Army Corps of Engineers projects on Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Oahu and Kahoolawe, and have a lasting impact on the overall quality of life and economic strength of our entire state,’’ Case said.
The U.S. Senate was set to give final approval for the measure Nov. 10, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said.
If the act becomes law, nearly half of the money –– $13 million –– would go for the continued construction of long-term upgrades of Kaumalapau Harbor on Lanai.
Case told colleagues earlier this year that the project was his highest priority for energy and water project funding in the state.
“Repair of the existing breakwater is critical to the harbor’s operation and to the island’s people who receive all their goods by barge,’’ Case said. “Kaumalapau is one of several harbors our state needs to have operating at maximum efficiency, and these funds will help us do that on Lanai, and also at Kauai’s Nawiliwili Harbor, Hawaii Island’s Kawaihae Harbor and Oahu’s Barbers Point Harbor.’’
On the Big Island, the Kona Carbon Biomass project, to be located at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Co. facilities outside Hilo, would receive $1 million to develop a facility to process hard nut shells into premium-grade, granular activated carbon. The facility also would generate electricity on site for nut processing operations.
The bill also sets aside $375,000 to continue pre-construction engineering and design of the Iao Stream Flood Control Project on Maui.
Statewide, $500,000 would be spent on hurricane evacuation studies to refine information developed for emergency planners to manage hurricane evacuations, and to initiate work to incorporate tsunami evacuation plans.
“I am pleased that these important initiatives for Hawaii were funded during this tight budget year,’’ Inouye said. “
“With our nation at war, much of our federal funds are going to support our men and women in uniform on the front lines,’’ he said. “As a result, many worthy nonmilitary projects are competing for fewer available federal dollars.’’