Lingle says final rail EIS ‘not on her desk'

HONOLULU (HawaiinewsNow) - Governor Linda Lingle tried to dispel accusations that she is dragging her feet on completing an environmental review of Honolulu's planned rail transit system Monday. She said in a statement that several hurdles remained before the environmental impact statement (EIS) could be finalized.

"The fact is the final EIS is not on my desk as some have incorrectly stated" said Lingle.

She cited an independent study that was contracted by the state Department of Transportation to review the projects long range costs.

"I have a fiduciary responsibility to do an objective, common sense financial analysis of what this project - the most expensive public works project in our state's history will cost Hawaii taxpayers over the long-term."

She said that the financial study will examine the "reasonableness and accuracy" of plans for building and maintaining the rail system as put forth by the City of Honolulu. The study will also take a look at the proposed revenue sources that will be used to fund the system.

Lingle also said that a necessary agreement had not been finalized on Hawaiian remains and other cultural resources that may be in the path of the rail line. She said that talks between federal, state and city officials were still ongoing.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.