Letter to the editor, Garden Island Newspaper, February 2016
In a recent development, Hawaii Dairy Farms has started to undertake a voluntary
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before advancing their planned dairy operation in
Mahaulepu Valley. While we view the EIS as a victory in our well-founded opposition to the
current dairy proposal, we must now work to ensure that the EIS provides an honest and
complete assessment 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
The voluntary EIS approach can be an excellent way to improve a project when done in good
faith and not as a “PR EIS”. However, as this EIS is not currently being mandated by state law,
we are particularly concerned that mitigation measures and public input components of a
standard EIS will not apply. It is imperative to work as a community to participate in a complete
and transparent process by providing meaningful commentary.
There are 3 weeks left for the public to provide comment on the EIS Preparation Notice, a
process in which we can provide input to the Department of Health and HDF on issues and
resources that must be addressed in the EIS. We call on community members to respectfully
advocate for a thorough examination of effluent management, water quality protection, herd
growth triggers, alternative actions, and cultural considerations. To provide your comment by
email, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and HDF@Group70int.com.
Malama Mahalepu will continue closely monitor the EIS process and keep the community
updated. Hawaii must continue to make steps towards self-sufficiency, but these steps must be
calculated to ensure the protection of our limited resources. It is our sincere hope to see
locally-based agriculture thrive once again here on the south shore, but to ensure its future
permanence we must follow a sustainable model.
The Malama Mahaulepu Staff, Steering Committee, and Board of Directors
Aloha Malama Mahaulepu Supporters,
We offer our sincere appreciation to all of you that took the time to register your comments and concerns over the proposed dairy at Mahaulepu.
Through our comments and advocacy, Malama Mahaulepu has sought to ensure that the EIS provides an honest and complete state-of-the-art assessment of the project’s impacts and that meaningful mitigation measures are mandated to make certain that the project will not negatively impact Mahaulepu’s land, waters and neighboring communities.
Community participation is key to developing a comprehensive EIS. We encourage the community to join us in the coming months as we continue to monitor and engage constructively in the EIS process.