Nighttime geothermal drilling to get public hearing

File video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar

PUNA, Hawaii: It looks like we are heading for a repeat of this scene in Puna that we filmed earlier this year.

A large crowd of residents sounding off during a Special Hawaii County Council meeting held in Pahoa on the topic of geothermal energy. Hundreds of opponents of the industry packed the high school cafeteria to document what they saw are the health problems and poor quality of living next to the noisy Puna Geothermal Venture power plant.

Now, the Hawaii County Council will schedule another hearing – most likely in Puna, once again – this time on the topic of geothermal drilling.

Council Chair Dominic Yagong introduced a bill to put a stop to well drilling in the night time hours. Residents living near the Puna Geothermal Venture power plant have complained about the noise during the most recent round of drilling.

Bill 292 made it all the way to its final reading at the council, but it was nearly derailed at the last minute by the same concerns that were brought out when the bill passed first reading. This video is from that discussion on October 4th.

According to Dave Smith of the Big Island Now news website, there have been no amendments to the bill addressing those possible legal concerns.

Because of the concerns, the council voted 5 to 3 in favor of holding the hearing, at a time and date to be announced.

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