(ABOVE VIDEO) A compilation of moments captured during Monday’s lava flow community meeting in Pahoa, in which the Puna Geothermal Venture steam venting during Iselle is discussed.
Video by David Corrigan
PAHOA, Hawaii – An informational meeting on an advancing lava flow in Puna turned into a heated discussion – at times – on the Puna Geothermal Venture plant’s steam venting on the evening Hurricane Iselle hit Hawaii Island.
Big Island Video News has been following this latest incident at PGV that occurred when transmission lines that connect to the geothermal plant were lost in Iselle’s high winds. PGV shutdown and released hydrogen sulfide, which the company says was abated with caustic soda and water. Residents living nearby described feeling ill, and some say they passed out. To make matters worse, many were unable to evacuate their neighborhood because of the storm.
PGV and the power utility were criticized for not shutting down the plant earlier in anticipation of a hurricane. At Monday’s meeting, Civil Defense administator Darryl Oliveira and PGV’s Senior Director for Hawaiian Affairs Mike Kaleikini said that they are working on revising their shutdown procedures should a similar situation occur in the future.
Some residents were apparently confused by the proximity of the current lava flow to a different geothermal drill pad. PGV is in a different location.
Residents also put Mayor Billy Kenoi on the spot, asking him to attend an upcoming Puna Pono Alliance meeting (details below). Oliveira said he would be there to represent the county.
From Puna Pono President Robert Petricci:
Puna Pono Alliance Geothermal Health Impact Meeting Notice
Community meeting regarding the operation of the geothermal plant during the arrival of Tropical Storm Iselle.
August 30th at the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science (HAAS School), 15-1397 Homestead Road, in Pahoa at 4:00 pm.
PPA, will host the Hawaii County Civil Defense director, and PGV representative in a public meeting to address the concerns of the community regarding the operation of the geothermal plant in the face of Tropical Storm Iselle, We also invited HELCO, DOH, and the Hawaii County Planning Director.
Council District 4 rep Geggor Illigan told me he would be there also.The meeting will address the release of geothermal toxins during and after the storm. The action taken as concerns possible health effects from the release, and the performance of the H2S monitoring system before, during, and after the storm.
Those invited to interact with the community are Jay Ignacio of HELCO, Mike Kaleikini of PGV, Darryl Oliveria of Civil Defense, Duane Kanuha of the Planning Department, and Dr. Linda Rosen of the Hawaii Department of Health. Puna Pono will provide a brief introduction. Then each of the invited participants will be asked to provide a timeline and to address why the plant was operating, to address the adequacy of County and PGV emergency plans, to describe what actions were taken, what complications were faced, and how those complications were dealt with. Following the presentations of invited presenters, the attendees will ask questions as time permits.
Please email this notice of the meeting to your network and friends as soon as possible.Robert Petricci on Facebook, August 25