PAHOA, Hawaii – A crowd gathered at Pahoa’s Akebono Theater for a Puna Pono Alliance meeting, a few days after an alarming incident at the nearby geothermal energy facility.
The Puna Pono organization has been busy over the past year fighting the further development of geothermal in the area.
The hot topic of discussion was the occurrence on March 13, when Puna Geothermal Venture tripped offline following a HELCO power outage, leading to a steam release through the facility’s Emergency Steam Release System.
Plant officials were on hand to explain what happened.
Also in attendance: the County’s Civil Defense administrator Darryl Oliveira, who surprised the crowd with his report on hydrogen sulfide readings collected by his department in the neighborhoods surrounding the plant that day.
Residents had a chance to ask questions.
Also, speakers lamented the failure of House Bill 106, which would have repealed Act 97 – the state law passed last year that eliminated goethermal subzones and county oversight of development.