The current DEIS released by “Group 70” on behalf of the “Ulupono Initiative” Hawaii Dairy Farm at Maha‘ulepu skirts, evades and fails to address particular adverse critiques previously presented by public comment.
If as recently reported (TGI news stories, letters to the editor in June), wind conditions cause airborne drift of horse flies from CJM Stables to present enough of a pest to drive beach goers from “Shipwreck’s” (Keoniloa) Beach next to the Hyatt, how then can HDF assert that biting cattle flies, biquitous among a herd of 699, let alone 2,000 dairy cows, nearly the equal proximate distance as CJM, will not inundate the region under similar wind and convective conditions on a scale of magnitude?
The Waste Management Plan’s (WMP) “Cemetery Plan” is inadequate for compensating in the aftermath of a 100-year weather event or the advent of an infectious disease. The plan appears inadequate to handle inadvertent events outside the scope of routine planned obsolescence interments. It does not address down-slope leaching of decaying corpses penetrating into arable soil and water sources.
The “DEIS Plan” leaves unaddressed, the greater issue of the disposal stream resulting from “bi-product” animals diverted from the dairy operation, male calves; cows on recuperative hiatus; those who for one reason or another are not suited for dairy regeneration.
What may be our island’s capacity for absorption, and impact, in regard to transportation; road load conditions; peak traffic; off-site facility impacts and resultant carcass disposal (WMP)?
Air quality, once impacted by ariel borne odoriferous ammonium particulates, fly infestation, sound pollution (convective pressure attributable to seasonal “Kona” wind conditions that enhance distribution and affected range) may be mitigable following removal of the dairy herd, yet the spread and contamination of valley soils, prime agricultural lands, from ammonium, nitrate, and residuals would be catastrophic and irreversible.
On a grander scale, by the “Prime Agricultural Lands” dedication of this property under statute, does not the doctrine of “best and highest use” with the least deleterious environmental effect take precedence?
The state of Hawaii is poised at the threshold of converting former sugar croplands with industrial hemp. From building materials to fabrics; replacing imported wood crops; generating bio-fuels, energy, and generating export materials, industrial hemp may become, due to Hawaii’s climate allowing year-round cultivation and extensive pre-formed vacant irrigated field systems, a boon to the economy replacing sugarcane and pineapple as “home-grown” exports (exempt from “Jones Act” taxation).
The cost of converting the former “mill” site to an Industrial Hemp Processing Facility (IHPF) is estimated to be the equivalent of the HDF Dairy projected budget. The range and scope of such conversion could extend way beyond the 534 acre HDF site by utilising the existing cane-haul road network into adjacent former sugarcane and pineapple fields from Pa‘a to Kekaha (It would also have a dampening effect on “backyard” marijuana cultivators due to the spread of cross-pollination of non-psychoactive hemp).
HDF stubbornly refuses to consider an alternate location despite public sentiment and mounting evidentiary studies citing adverse conditions of environmental, economic, and public health to residents, visitors and businesses.
Their retaliatory response, should their plan be denied, is to convert to a totally enclosed Industrial Concentrated Animal Feed Operation (CAFO) on the same site, abandoning open-air rotation of the herd, forcing production by “mining milk” and then discarding encaged creatures as extinguishable “waste” by-product. This “alternative” is reprehensible and morally unacceptable.
The growing inability of local citizens to protect public health and quality of life in the face of unrestrained exploitation by multi-national corporate interests jeopardizing environment and welfare is being perpetuated by misleading and unexplained “shifting” statistics” for which no foundation is provided; dissociate apathy, machinations of collateral beneficiaries and the influence of self-interested parties.
“Ua Mau Ke ‘Ea ‘O Ka Aina I Ka Pono.”
Kalanikumai ‘O Na Ali‘i Hanohano, known as “Branch Harmony,” is a resident of Koloa.