September 9, 2015
Aloha Governor Ige,
Malama Mahaulepu is a 501c(3) non-profit with over 40 years of experience advocating for the permanent protection and continued public access for Mahaulepu – one of the crown jewels of Kauai. Our organization has been closely following, scrutinizing, and providing thoughtful opposition to the proposed industrial dairy at Mahaulepu since news was first made public in the fall of 2013.
As an advocate of continued historical land uses, Malama Mahaulepu is committed to supporting agriculture in the valley if it is compatible with the natural and cultural resources of the area. For this reason, we carefully reviewed management plans and ecological studies, questioned herd size, choice of forage, usage of community water supply, effluent management, depth of the water table, soil constraints and air pollution concerns. We have researched best dairy management practices while seeking feasible alternative methods and ways to minimize potential impacts. We have suggested alternative dispute resolution strategies such as joint fact finding, creation of good neighbor agreements, and the issuance of an environmental remediation bond.
In September 2014, after deciding that our good faith attempts to work with Hawaii Dairy Farms were not succeeding, Malama Mahaulepu’s board of directors and steering committee came out against the dairy and began a petition which reads as follows:
“We the undersigned oppose the current HDF proposal until and unless an Environmental Impact Analysis and binding mitigation measures determine that it can operate without harm to Mahaulepu Valley and its neighboring communities.”
1,652 people have signed the attached petition, seeking not only thorough scrutiny of potential environmental impacts and alternative actions through the EA/EIS process, but also binding mitigation measures to ensure protection of our precious resources.
Earlier this year, Hawaii Dairy Farms stated that they will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before advancing their planned dairy operation in Mahaulepu Valley. We view the EIS as a victory in the review of the dairy proposal, but we must now work to ensure that the EIS provides an accurate and complete review of the project’s impacts and that meaningful mitigation measures are mandated to ensure that the project will not negatively impact Mahaulepu’s land, waters and neighboring communities.
Malama Mahaulepu will closely monitor the ongoing EIS process and keep the community updated. We challenge HDF to complete a thorough and objective EIS and adhere to its findings.
Hawaii Dairy Farms is proposing a highly intensive use of the land and it is not enough to simply assert that there will be no discharge. These critical lands are irreplaceable and it is therefore highly appropriate that HDF bear the burden to fully demonstrate in detail that there is no risk of polluting the area.
We now ask for your authoritative assistance and oversight to insist upon the highest quality of environmental review and implementation of meaningful mitigative measures. We, the Kauai south shore community, and 1,652 others, turn to you to protect our island from the harm.
With Respect & Kauai’s Warmest Aloha,
Greg Peters, Executive Director
Malama Mahaulepu is working to preserve, for future generations, the irreplaceable natural and cultural resources of Mahaulepu. We believe that the Kauai community and its visitors deserve the continuing experience of this beautiful and historic place as an undeveloped area with compatible agricultural, educational and recreational uses.