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October 12, 2012
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Puna Pono Alliance
Letting Puna be Puna
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Lots Happening at Council Meeting this Wednesday
Several bills that Puna Pono Alliance has been tracking will be discussed and voted on this Wednesday, October 17.  

The Drilling Noise Ordinance Bill is up for it's final vote.  Bill 292: Amends Hawaii County code to restrict geothermal exploration and production drilling to the operating hours of 7 am to 7 pm within 1 mile of residences. It is important that we make a strong showing to counter the PGV lawyers and ask our council members to support the bill.  See the article below on how to testify.

Here is a list of other issues on the agenda for Wednesday.  If you have time, please testify on these issues as well.

Comm 880: Presentation by HELCO on efforts to renegotiate power agreements, specifically if PGV was amenable to lowering the price rate, and if so, the amount of the new rate

Res 302-12: Urges the State Legislature to enact legislation to enact sustainable living research sites on parcels less than 15 acres that are designated "agricultural." A "Sustainable Living Research Site" is an area of land on which the legal owners are permitted to engage in activities and erect structures that might otherwise be prohibited by State or County law.

Bill 305:  Eases the requirements for solar permits and speeds the process for the installation of photovoltaic systems. 
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How to testify for Night-time Drilling Ban Final Vote
If you have heard PGV drilling a new well, then you know it is loud. Worse yet, they drill 24/7, interfering with sleep and increasing stress. This will be an issue not just for PGV neighbors, but for all of our neighbors where industry is targeting exploratory geothermal wells. 

Bill 292 amends Hawaii County code to restrict geothermal exploration and production drilling to the operating hours of 7 am to 7 pm within 1 mile of residences.   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, either written or in-person.  It is important that we make a strong showing to counter the PGV lawyers in asking our council members to support the bill.

Here are some points you might want to make to the council.

  • Geothermal drilling produces low frequency noise which creates stress on anyone near it.  
  • It is unfair for a company to subject neighbors to this noise day and night so that they can save money.
  • The night-time noise interferes with evening time at home and sleep, which affects children and adults alike.
  • PGV's permits say they must comply with all local ordinances.  Their current permits do not allow them to ignore the law, despite what their lawyers say.
  • It is the responsibility of the Council to protect the health and safety of Hawaii County citizens.
  • Thank the council for making this effort on our behalf.
Here are details on how to testify:

The council will be meeting in Kona at 9 am Wednesday, October 17.  In-person testimony can be made there or by video feed from any of the other council offices, including Hilo and Pahoa.  

Public Testimony: Oral public testimony is heard at the beginning of each Council meeting for items on the agenda.  Oral public testimony is limited to three (3) minutes per agenda item.

Written Public Testimony:  The deadline for submission of written public testimony is 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting day.  The Office of the County Clerk will accept receipt of your written public testimony by mail to the Office of the County Clerk at 25 Aupuni Street, Hilo, HI 96720, by facsimile to (808) 961-8912; or by e-mail to counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us.  Please submit separate written public testimony for each agenda item.

Written Public Testimony Submitted Past Deadline:  If you miss the deadline for written public testimony, the Office of the County Clerk will accept your written public testimony at the Council meeting.  When submitting written public testimony at a Council meeting, please see a Council Services staff person stationed at the front entrance of the Council room and provide them with your written public testimony.  The Office of the County Clerk advises that you bring fourteen (14) copies of the written public testimony to expedite distribution to the Council members during the meeting.

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Share your PEIS Testimony
Puno Pono Alliance has created a web page to collect and publish PEIS comments.  This will enable us to use this testimony as a resource to the community as we prepare future testimony for the next steps in the PEIS process.  To share your testimony on our website, send it in an email to punapono@gmail.com with "PEIS testimony" in the subject line.  Mahalo to all of you who testified.

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Puna Pono Alliance
A Community group working for Puna and Hawai'i
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Puna Pono Alliance
RR2, Box 3311
Pahoa, Hawaii 96778
US

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