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).
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: