LIHUE — A move to amend the Interim Inflow Stream Standard for the Waikoko and North Fork Wailua streams by State of Hawaii Commission on Water Resources Management Tuesday has been delayed due to a request for a contested-case hearing filed by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.
Noting that amendments to the staff recommendation were being proposed without adequate research or data to support potential impacts, KIUC’s general counsel Laurel Loo requested a contested case about 5:45 p.m., after nearly eight hours of public testimony and deliberations.
“We don’t feel it’s prudent to act upon these amendments without sufficient data,” Loo said.
“KIUC had stated during the meeting that we did not oppose the staff recommendation,” stated KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer David Bissell. “There is no way to evaluate the ramifications of the last-minute amendments being proposed without further data and study. Although we were hopeful for a decision today, we felt we had no choice but to compel further discussion and evaluation.”
Among the factors of concern to KIUC is the impact the IISS will have on its commitment to provide reliable, clean energy at the lowest possible cost to its members-owners. “Lowering the amount of diverted water decreases productivity at the Waiahi hydro plants. We have to make up that loss with other sources of power, all of which are two to three times more expensive than the cost of generation from the Waiahi hydros,” Bissell stated.
“We realize that the commission has a difficult decision to make. We will continue to work with the commissioners and staff so that they can find a reasonable balance and come to the best possible conclusion,” said Bissell.