(BIVN) – Water protectors, environmentalists, and supporters of the new organization, Extinction Rebellion, spoke out against an application for a Special Management Area Use Permit to develop a potable water well and bottling facility in Hilo.
The Windward Planning Commission continued the matter regarding of Piʻilani Partners’ proposed water bottling project to a future date, but still heard testimony on the application. No one spoke in favor.
In December, the commission was unable to agree on the permit request that would allow the company to draw water from a fresh artesian well from a location in Hilo, between the Hilo Civic Auditorium and the Wailoa River State Park, and bottle it for sale. The water would come from the Onomea Aquifer, which is part of the Mauna Kea sector and actually sits below the Mauna Loa aquifer sector.
The Planning Department already voted to approve a SMA Use Permit revocation for the site. A previous permit was granted to the Suisan company in 1992 to allow the construction of a warehouse and fish processing plant. But the commission faltered when it came to approving a new SMA Use Permit to allow the water bottling plant.