State of Hawaii Environmental Council: Updating Administrative Rules



Case Study


The Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC), part of the Hawaii Department of Health, is in the process of updating the Hawai’i Administrative Rules. According to state law, the Environmental Council must request feedback from affected agencies; however, going a step further, OEQC launched a public consultation on the update using the CiviComment app.

Project Configuration

  • OEQC shares each version of the updated Hawai’i Administrative Rules with the general public, using CiviComment.
  • Users can choose to comment anonymously or register and get access to additional features, including comment editing, deleting, upvoting and downvoting.
  • Users leave their comments directly on top of the text it relates to, cutting down on the time it takes OEQC to track and process comments.
  • The OEQC has the option to moderate comments, in order to ensure that all commenting is appropriate and respectful.
  • So far, the OEQC uploaded 4 iterations of the document, continuously updating the chapters based on comments received and re-submitting them for review.


The CiviComment app provides OEQC with a platform that is simple to manage and gives improved access for the public, due to its user friendly interface. “The setup and administration experience was great. Setup was simple and straightforward, and CiviComment staff promptly attended to any questions or functionality suggestions we had.” - said Zackary Stoddard, Planner at the Department of Planning and Permitting, Honolulu Government.

OEQC received 100s of comments, including suggestions on community involvement, potential risks as perceived by residents, concerns over environmental issues and general public support for the revision process. This reflects on an active engagement, beneficial for the project’s transparency, quality and implementation process.