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Letter for Monday, Feb. 20, 2017

• Dumbfoundewd by politician’s support for dairy

Dumbfounded by politician’s support for dairy

The reality of the HDF industrial dairy in Mahaulepu is that initially 699 cows will deposit 1.9 million pounds of manure and urine per year in an area less than one square mile (469 acres), which is very close to, and upstream of, the ocean and upwind of the residents and visitors to the South Shore resorts. If the dairy has its way, that will eventually increase to 2,000 cows (you do the math). This is the equivalent of a small city of humans without bathroom facilities. In addition, this will all be taking place over the aquifer feeding a well that supplies water to parts of that area.

Having had a business three miles downwind of a dairy, the certainties are that there will be strong odors and large fly populations affecting the downwind areas, including the South Shore resorts.

The very real risks are that:

w The aquifer over which the dairy operates will be irreparably and permanently polluted;

w The South Shore ocean, reefs and fishery will be similarly affected by runoff;

w The tourist economy, property values and quality of life will be severely impacted as a result, with an attendant and significant loss of jobs and tax revenue;

w The lost tax revenue (GET, TAT and property tax) will have to be replaced by increasing taxes all over the island;

w An alternative source of drinking water will have to be found, at great expense;

w Once any of these occur, there is no adequate way to reverse the damage to the land, the economy or the residents.

With the milk being shipped to Oahu for sale, the benefits of the dairy to Kauai are a net gain of approximately 11 jobs and negligible property tax revenue.

The permitting authorities are being asked to rely on the representations of dairy proponents that these impacts and risks can be mitigated. This is the same entity that has already misrepresented facts in their efforts to gain the necessary permits, as well as violating our environmental laws and regulations by commencing construction without the necessary approvals. (See findings of federal district court.)

Based on all of these facts, we were dumbfounded to read a guest editorial by one of our local politicians proposing the dairy should be given a chance to operate, after regurgitating only the points and positions advanced by the dairy proponents and without considering any of the certainties and risks. There is no “Plan B” by the dairy or our leaders if any of these happen.

We all feel agriculture is important; but like other industrial businesses, there are good and bad types of agriculture. There are also risks which should never be taken. This is one of them.

Our island deserves better from its leaders.

Wyatt and Linda Angelo, Kalaheo

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