August 26, 2018, Honolulu, Hawaii.
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Carroll talks about sewage and wastewater spills during storms. Of particular concern is the community of O'okala on the Big Island. Over and over they have dealt with spills from the Big Island Dairy. Bridget Hammerquist, of Friends of Maha'ulepu, joins in and tells us before the hurricane the Big Island Dairy told the community the ponds would be overflowing into the gulch. Carroll and Bridget have talked many times in the past about the situation at the Big Island Dairy. Over and over again the dairy has spilled wastewater into the gulch, and from there into the ocean. The dairy has been fined, but still they have not completely fixed the problems with their effluent ponds overflowing.
Bridget Hammerquist and Friends of Maha'ulepu are particularly concerned about O'okala and the management of the Big Island Dairy, because an even bigger dairy operation is proposed for Kauai, upslope of Maha'ulepu and the resorts on the south side of the island. They have been fighting the proposed dairy on Kauai for several years. Bridget tells us how the state regulators, the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture and its director, Scott Enright, are not helping O'okala or Kauai resolve issues to make sure manure and runoff are, or will be, properly handled.
More disturbing, as part of their research regarding the current condition of the streams flowing into the ocean at Maha'ulepu, Friends of Maha'ulepu learned there are already high levels of fecal bacteria in the streams. They then learned there is a permitted biosolid dump site of partially treated sewage on the slopes above Maha'ulepu, and it has been there for at least eleven years. After the community complained, the state said they would not renew the permit.
The Big Island Dairy's solution is to release effluent water into the gulch and distribute it over the farmland. Bridget says she can't believe the state would continue supporting dairies, and do this to the people, the land and the ocean.
Bridget then talks about the state's overall approach to stream and water management. A contested case and administrative hearings are in progress regarding stream flow in the Waikoko and Wai'ale'ale streams, and the diversion of stream water, while scarce species are being driven to extinction.
For more information and pictures, visit the Friends of Maha'ulepu website at www.friendsofmahaulepu.org
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