Dairy poses unacceptable risks
We are writing to express our dissatisfaction with the HDF FEIS filed with thestate Department of Health on Jan. 17, as well as with the responses received from Group 70 International regarding the concerns we expressed in letters/emails dated July 20, 2016 and July 24, 2016.
Overall, we find that the FEIS is a self-serving document designed and being used as a communications tool to make assertions, unsupported or poorly supported by facts, that the HDF proposal will have no impact on a host of values.
These values ought to be a very major concern to all levels of government and are very major and valid concerns to the people of Kauai, including many subject matter experts who have provided their assessments that the proposed diary poses unacceptable risks.
The techniques employed by the tobacco and GMO industries to deflect criticism and to obfuscate and confuse are everywhere present in the FEIS and the subsequent HDF communications machine.
The reality is that the proposed dairy will negatively impact the local terrestrial and nearshore marine environments (water, air, land, plants and animals) in ways that can and have been predicted. We urge DOH to not accept these blithe and largely unsupported assertions of no impact.
These comments also apply to the responses to our letters received from Group 70 International on behalf of HDF.
One of the specific concerns we expressed to HDF and its consultants is the impacts of increased nutrients on marine plants and animals (particularly corals) in the nearshore areas that receive water draining from the HDF site.
This would include nutrient contaminated groundwater that percolates underground and emerges on the beaches, nearshore or offshore areas. This type of contamination is not restricted to surface waters draining through Waipoli Stream.
Corals are very well known to be negatively impacted by increased nutrients. Given that corals are already stressed due to ocean warming and acidification, the addition of more nutrients can be expected to have a disproportionately severe impact on them — and thence on the complex food web that is based on corals.
It is best to avoid anything that could reasonably be expected to add to coral stressors, because once the damage is done it may take decades or longer to repair.
It is good that HDF is committed to and has apparently already started a nearshore water quality monitoring program.
However, HDF has not shared the attributes of the program such as frequency of sampling, the number and location of sampling stations, the specific parameters to be tested, the sensitivity of the analytical processes used, or what it will do if the monitoring program indicates that the dairy is or may be having a negative impact on the nearshore environment.
If HDF has mitigation strategies in mind, these should be identified as should the specific factors that will be used to trigger their implementation.
Michael Coon (M Sc, Marine Biologist) and Jenica K. Waymen B.A., Kilauea
Dairy won’t work anywhere on Kauai
“Dairy Withdraws FEIS” (TGI Feb. 22).
“Hennessey said … doesn’t affect HDF’s goal of putting an industrial dairy at Maha’ulepu.”
Putting the words “industrial” and “Maha’ulepu” in the same sentence is an oxymoron — that is putting together two words or thoughts that are contrary to each other.
Picture beautiful, pristine Maha’ulepu and picture industrial use. Add to that the specific industry of stinky manure from 2,000 cows and all that goes with it. Makes me shutter!
HDF, go away. Forget a dairy anywhere on The Garden island. It’s a terrible idea!
Judith Rachap, Koloa