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Dairy farm must remain under scrutiny

Lucky we live Kauai. And lucky we have concerned citizens who give of their time, energy and tenacity to right the wrongs of Hawaii Department of Health, who, even in light of compelling, irrefutable scientific evidence, steadfastly refused to do their jobs. Thank you, Friends of Mahaulepu and Surfrider Kauai. I write as a long-time resident of Kauai’s South Shore and as one who pays taxes to the County of Kauai and the State of Hawaii.

I challenge the Hawaii Department of Health as it reviews response letters to the recently published Hawaii Dairy Farms Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to do an honest, unbiased, in-depth, thoughtful and exhaustive review of those letters. I have personally read several letters written by intelligent and informed residents, visitors and others. They clearly show that the DEIS is rife with errors, omissions and misrepresentations.

A case in point: section entitled surface water, sub-heading surface water quality. Reference to Waiopili Ditch states: “… is not an inviting recreational body of water utilized by people.” A lie, indeed. As I have walked on beautiful Mahaulepu beach on many occasions I have seen people in that stream.

I note with interest a New York Times article dated July 29, 2016, headlined “6 More State Workers Charged in Flint Water Crisis.” This brings to 9, the number of public employees criminally charged.

Because one of the wells that supplies drinking water to all of the people and pets in the Poipu area as well as to most of Koloa is less than 1,000 feet from the intended manure and sludge deposits, I am gratified to know that individuals can, and will, be held criminally responsible for failure to do the job with which they are entrusted.

To the Hawaii Dairy Farms, be careful what you say. Even the wealth, power and influence of multi-billionaires Pierre and Pam Omidyar will not insulate you from public scrutiny.

To Grove Farm Company and billionaire Steve Case, have you no shame? Your mission statement reads, in part: “as a kamaaina company … while being a responsible steward of its ‘aina.” How can you egregiously facilitate this environmental, economic and lifestyle disaster to the community of which you have been a member for nearly 150 years?

To the Hawaii Department of Health, the Kauai Department of Water, Gov. Ige and all other county and state officials involved, large numbers of the taxpayers of Kauai are educated and angry — a formidable combination. We are committed to protecting our treasured island.

We will do everything to safeguard it and our lives here. We are holding you individually accountable. We are watching.

I would hate to see a New York Times article headlined: “Hawaii Officials Look the Other Way as Billionaires Cause Devastation.”

•••

Judith Rachap is a Koloa resident.

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