MAHAULEPU — The entire network connected to the Waiopili Stream in the Mahaulepu Valley has been listed as impaired for the wet season by the state Department of Health.
The information came out in the Draft 2016 Hawaii Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, which is in an open public comment period until April 20.
The waterway network is connected to the proposed site of Hawaii Dairy Farm’s industrial diary.
HDF plans to build a maximum 2,000-cow dairy on 557 acres in the Mahaulepu Valley. According to the FEIS, the goal is to establish a sustainable, pastoral, rotational-grazing dairy farm.
“In terms of direct impact on our project, we believe our current conservation plan and best management practices will meet any potential needs to protect water quality in the area,” said Amy Hennessey, spokeswoman for HDF.
The report for 2016 addressed 44 coastal areas out of the 558 watersheds across the state and of those, 40 are not up to par with water quality standards.
“Waiopili Ditch and the Mahaulepu Watershed are not unique,” Hennessey said. “Hawaii waters are impacted by upland uses across the state.”
But some believe that the listing of the stream and its network on the draft assessment, highlighting the sensitivity of the waterways, means that the dairy shouldn’t be located there.
“We believe this represents another significant finding that further supports Friends of Maha‘ulepu’s objection to the location of any industrial dairy operation at Mahaulepu,” said Bridget Hammerquist, president of FOM.
Comments must be transmitted in writing no later than April 20, to Alec Wong, Clean Water Branch, DOH, 919 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 301, Honolulu, HI 96814.