POHOIKI, Hawaii – A steam release is being reported at the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.
Hawaii County Civil Defense says the release of steam occurred at 3 p.m. today.
The situation was contained and secured as of 3:45 p.m.
“The Hawaii County Fire Department remains on scene,” a civil defense message states, “and is continuously monitoring the air quality at the site, the perimeter, and the surrounding community.”
“Based on all available data,” the alert continues, “there is no threat to the public, and no evacuation is necessary.”
UPDATE (8 p.m.) – Robert Petricci of Puna Pono Alliance said he was on the scene taking readings between 4 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. and did not detect hydrogen sulfide with his equipment, but said “it smelled very bad.”
“My lips and eyes are burning and I threw up it smelled so bad,” Petricci wrote on Facebook afterwards.
“They should shut (PGV) down until they can at least tell us what the hell they are releasing into our community,” Petricci added.
UPDATE (9:45 p.m.) – “All is well at PGV,” reports Mike Kaleikini, director of Hawaiian affairs for Ormat Technologies, PGV’s parent company. “Everyone one on-site responded according to our response procedures and we kept CD, HELCO and others apprised of all activities. We are now back online. Personnel from Civil Defense and the Fire Department stayed on location till around 9 p.m. Plant personnel are working on returning generation back to normal. Further details will be provided to the appropriate agencies as soon as we have details available about our plant upset.”