(BIVN) – The Windward Planning Commission once again took up the permit application for a water bottling facility in Hilo, and once again the applicant failed to receive a recommendation.
Thursday’s hearing was a continuation on the application from Piʻilani Partners LLC for a Special Management Area Use Permit to develop a potable water well and bottling facility on an industrial plot between the Hoʻolulu Complex and the Wailoa State Park.
On behalf of the applicant, planning consultant Sidney Fuke presented attorney Pam Bunn, who walked hydrologist and water resource engineer Tom Nance through a series of questions about the project.
Using paper and pen, Nance illustrated how the company will be drawing water from an artesian water source, which is part of the Mauna Kea aquifer sector.
A handful of residents attended the meeting to testify in opposition to the permit application. One testifier, Joseph Kualii Lindsey Camara, urged the commission to put off a decision until the Hawaiʻi Commission on Water Resource Management, or CWRM, can address the issue of whether or not a management designation should be given to “Deep Confined Freshwater” as mentioned in its Water Resource Protection Plan, which is presently undergoing an update.
According to Hawaiʻi County Planning Director Michael Yee, the planning commission seemed to agree with Camara, in part. A motion was made to continue the matter once again, allowing CWRM some time to address Hawaii’s deep confined freshwater. UPDATE: If the Planning Commission fails to take up the matter again in 60 days, multiple sources say, the application will effectively be denied, opening the door to an possible appeal.