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September 29th 2012
Puna Pono Alliance
"Letting Puna Stay Puna"
puna-geothermal-drill 4

Big Week for Hawai'i County  

This coming week is an opportunity to let your voice be heard on the issues that will affect the future of Puna.  

On the Council agenda for October 3rd: night-time drilling noise ordinance (See below), submitting video testimony, changing the language to allow for residential PV installations w/o architect stamp, abolish the PLDC, water infrastructure, clean elections funding, two elections resolutions and three executive sessions about lawyers and the election. Should be a fun day! 

The Windward Planning Commission meets on October 4th: Discussion of possible amendments to Planning Commission Rule No. 12 regarding the Geothermal Asset Fund and the Puno Pono Alliance health study (See below).

On the Committee Agenda for October 2nd: Sustainable Living Resolution (See below).


We Need Your Testimony on October 3rd for Night-Time Geo Drilling Ban 

This coming Wednesday, October 3rd, Hawaii County Council will be voting on whether to ban night-time geothermal drilling.  The Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability Committee  for Hawai'i County Council voted 7 to 2 to pass Bill 292 to Council consideration.  This is the first Council vote and if it passes, will likely have one more reading before it can pass to law. 

Up to now, geothermal drilling goes on 24/7, for months at a time.  Those of us near PGV know how awful it sounds.  It interferes  with sleep and increases stress.  Your neighborhood could be affected by geothermal drilling noise if new exploratory geothermal wells are drilled. 

The night-time drilling ban will be an amendment to Chapter 14, General Welfare, Hawai'i County Code, relating to geothermal drilling.   This amendment, introduced by Dominic Yagong, will add a new article that will restrict geothermal drilling to the operating hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for exploratory and production geothermal drilling if there is a residence within 1 mile radius of the drill site.  

We need your help to testify in support of this change.  PGV and their lawyers already are resisting this change with their testimony in the committee hearing.   You can testify by email, by letter or in-person at the county council office at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 3rd.   In-person testimony can be made in Hilo or by video feed from any of the other council offices.  Written testimony should be received by the Council at least 24 hours prior to the meeting or else bring 14 copies to the meeting 

You do not need to be within hearing distance of PGV for this to be an important issue for you.  One of the many things that make Puna a special place is the quiet of our surroundings.  Geothermal drilling could become increasingly commonplace in Hawaii, especially in other parts of Puna.  Bill 292 ensures that our night-time will not continue to be disturbed by drilling noise.  

Details on how to testify are can be found at this link:  

A copy of the agenda for this committee meeting can be found at:

And a draft of Bill 292 can be found at:

For more information about Geothermal Drilling Noise, see More About Geothermal Noise in our September 17th Puna Pono newsletter, or access it using this link:

Testify on Geothermal Asset Fund Rule Changes October 4th

Puna Pono Alliance made a proposal for a Health Study to be funded by the Geothermal Asset Fund that would be directed by a leading expert on hydrogen sulfide toxicity.  Since then Fred Blas and Billy Kenoi have developed their own proposal.  The Asset Fund rules will be discussed in the Windward Planning Commission Meeting on October 4th.

Here is a link to a news article about the health study:

Please join us to testify on October 4th at 9 a.m. that we want our health study funded and for our community to have a say in how the Geothermal Asset fund is used and to support the Puna Pono Alliance health study.

Find the agenda and details on how to testify here:


Sustainable Living Resolution, October 2nd

The Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance is working towards amending current laws to allow more eco-friendly practices, communities and buildings. 

This resolution (302-12) urges the Hawaii State Legislature enact legislation to establish Sustainable Living Research Sites on parcels less than 15 acres that are designated “agricultural” under state law in Hawaii. It would allow applicants to request exemptions from County Codes for approved sustainable living research activities. 

This would provide a way for people to come into compliance, and be able to learn about new ways of living that are ecological. They could work on how to: conserve and harvest fresh water; conserve and improve topsoil without expensive or toxic inputs; increase local food quality and security using organic methods and local materials; increase biodiversity and protect wildlife; provide onsite waste treatment and recycling with minimal or zero air and surface or ground water pollution, and many other techniques.

See HSCA website for their ACTION CALL, and how to support this. 

Read more about how you can get involved at:

Find the agenda for the Committee for Public Works and Parks and Recreations on October 2nd here:


EIS Rule Changes... Open for Public Comment

The Environmental Council is currently updating the Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) 11-200, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Rules. The Draft of Proposed Changes is now open for public review and comment. We strongly encourage all interested parties to submit feedback on the draft. To submit comments OEQC prefers the use of the comment matrix, though traditional forms of submission are also welcome. Please direct any comments or questions to or call (808)586-4185. The rules on which projects are required to do an EIS as well as what should be included affects all new developments. The EIS process gives the people of Puna input as to how the 'aina is treated and how we can stop the industrialization of Puna. 

Find the OEQC notice and link to the Draft of Proposed Changes here: 

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Puna Pono Alliance
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Puna Pono Alliance
RR2, Box 3311
Pahoa, Hawaii 96778

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