Airport development would be a mistake

I am opposed to the development proposed for Port Allen Airport.

The draft

environmental impact statement (EIS) fails to address the impact that this

project would have on Native Hawaiian people. The area contains ancient roads

roads, helau (sacred sites) and a series of culturally significant salt ponds.

There are cultural sites adjacent to the area that would be impacted and

altered as to their original intent. The Salt Pond lies within one of the most

important regions in Kauai’s history. The entire area provides a vivid picture

of pre-contact traditions and is a deeply rooted community gem.

The draft

EIS does not adequately address the risk of noise and flyover disturbances that

this area will incur due to increased helicopter traffic servicing the tourist


Increased drift, runoff and leaching of petroleum products from

the airport and roadsides may likely percolate through extremely porous lava

and end up in groundwater and the fragile reef system nearby. These toxic

chemicals can cause irreversible harm to all living creatures. This

well-documented effect can not be mitigated.

The local people who live in

the area do not want it. There has been broad and growing opposition to this

project since the beginning. The communities around Ele’ele and Hanapepe enjoy

a unique and distinct culture and work hard to preserve it and the economic

base of visitors who come to enjoy and learn from the richness of the history

found there. The community is dependent on these visitors. The local economy is

fragile and depends on the protection of Native Hawaiian culture and historical


The option of taking the helicopter development to Lihu’e Airport

rings with louder logic than directing the tourists to the away communities and

impacting the culurally rich area of Salt Pond. I recommend that you, as a

people and island and culture, reexamine this proposed mistake.



Berkeley, Calif.


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