Letter questions dairy plan

LIHUE — Researchers from Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future School of Public Health voiced concerns about the dairy aimed at Kauai’s Mahaulepu Valley in a letter released last week.

After a request by Bridget Hammerquist, president of Friends of Mahaulepu, the researchers reviewed Hawaii Dairy Farms’ final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and responded with a 23-page opinion on the plan.

Disease transmission, air pollution and contaminated ground and surface water were some of the concerns cited in the letter, sent to the State of Hawaii Department of Health and Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Representatives from Hawaii Dairy Farms didn’t address questions regarding the importance of the opinion to their project, but said in a statement to TGI: “Ulupono Initiative’s proposed vision to increase our state’s local milk supply with an economically feasible, pasture-based dairy on Kauai is rooted in our mission to promote Hawaii’s self-sufficiency and sustainability through local food production. We are committed to being a responsible community partner.”

Researchers also consolidated their concerns in a statement: “The primary human health concerns include: risk of infections resulting from transmission of harmful microorganisms from animal operations to nearby residents, respiratory effects from increased exposure to air pollution from animal operations, and multiple negative health impacts due to exposure to ground and/or surface waters that can be contaminated by manure from animal operations.”

Flies and contaminated water carrying risks for infection were highlighted as possible impacts, as well as exposure to pathogens resistant to human antibiotics as a result of animal vaccinations.

“A growing body of evidence provides support that antibiotic-resistant pathogens are found on animal operations that administer antibiotics for non-therapeutic purposes and are also found in the environment in and around production facilities, 10 specifically in manure,” the letter stated.

Air emissions of concern to researchers include particulates, volatile organic compounds, and gases such as nitrous oxide, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.

The increase in livestock in the area threw up red flags for the researchers in relation to ground and surface water contamination as well.

“We have concerns regarding some inconsistencies in the feed and waste management plans described in the FEIS,” researchers wrote.

While HDF representatives couldn’t be reached for comment, Hammerquist said “it is exciting and validating” to receive the assessment.

“The data and details are compiled from a prolonged study of industrial animal food operations across the United States,” she said.

“This letter not only supports our efforts, but also brings to light inconsistencies and major shortcomings in HDF’s plan.”

  1. Manawai February 11, 2018 7:58 am Reply

    The more I read proclamations like this one, the more I lean to support the dairy operations. This wordy author is monomaniacal in her quest against the diary.

  2. Steve Martin February 11, 2018 2:51 pm Reply

    I’m surprised we have any dairies anywhere. they must all be part of a grand fathered concept. It’s zoned for the use. with a plan I don’t think trying to hang them is the best way. I like to say with the investment being made and the faith of their plan to work they would make it happen without problems now and the future. If for some reason problems acur and there is not solution of fixing it then they would have to spend the money to cease and return the land as it was. Until then let’s stop the fearing mongering and what are total assumptions of what could happen and what’s going to make the world end if there was a dairy that did what they say they can provide and do.

  3. Amused February 11, 2018 6:40 pm Reply

    Get a life Bridget. You’re obsessed with that dairy. Don’t you know it’s not even going open? Then what will you do with your time?

  4. Steve Martin February 11, 2018 8:15 pm Reply

    Look at all the money that has been wasted. This is a very good lesson to those of you who live in the area of land zoned for any operation that allows Ag use. That land was there before you made the decision to move where you live. So you pile up all your money and decide at any cost you will continue to condemn their business venture any way we can because we don’t want it in or near your backyards. And it doesn’t matter, we don’t believe that they can pull off the dairy. And when it comes to the resorts who was the idiot that thought it would be a great idea to build a five star resort within the area of Ag land that is zoned for this use. Generally there is restrictions and conditions on it’s operations set by the county and where needed the state. I say they should have the opportunity under conditions they agree to and if any problem exist they couldn’t fix they would have to cease and remove it’s use. I personally don’t think the owners would have invested $17million in the proposal if they didn’t know it has to be done to be compatible with it’s neighbors.

    1. Kalapakirocky February 13, 2018 9:36 pm Reply

      Development next to “zoned for agriculture” that grew sugarcane for 100 years is one thing, but a full on industrial dairy is something else altogether. Even a simpleton like Martin should be able to distinguish between the two…then again ignorance is genetic.

  5. bob mikkelsen February 12, 2018 9:21 am Reply

    even with the overwhelming evidence against the dairy, they still want to continue. Why?

  6. Sunrise_blue February 12, 2018 9:51 am Reply

    I am really happy to see two sides of the story. Against the farm near Poipu area and for the farm. I agree that other problems may arise that could affect the surrounding population. New diseases, contaminated soil and water, orderous smell, improper production of beef also may site other unwanted by products. Such as spoiled beef, infected beef, contaminated beef, that could be transfered to humans, thereby causing sickness when ever someone buys the beef then eats it. These are environmental hazards most people don’t associate themselves with.

  7. Steve Martin February 13, 2018 8:34 pm Reply

    Other problems “MAY” arise that “COULD” affect the surrounding population. This belongs in the books of fear Mongering tactics 101. By saying may and could tells me that someone lacks the truth of the situation at hand. Not really positive so it becomes an assumption that can be made into whatever fits the mind.

  8. Kalapakirocky February 13, 2018 9:52 pm Reply

    Does this Steve Martin have a real arrow through his head like the original Steve Martin had in his comic act 30 years ago? Sounds he really does…which would explain a lot.

  9. Steve February 13, 2018 11:23 pm Reply

    There is plenty of ag land available on Kauai especially since the demise of sugar for someone wanting to attempt a reasonably sized dairy. Resorts and tourism, whether you like it or you don’t are the reason our sons and daughters and uncles and parents have jobs. Resorts need to be near the ocean—dairies don’t. So why put what is essentially a smelly pollution factory employing less than 10 people next to the island’s largest employer? What kind of game is being played here? It is entirely feasible, and not really hard to envision the fostering of responsible ag AND responsible tourism at the same time on the same island, to the benefit of all concerned.

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