DOH NEWS RELEASE: Hawaii Department of Health extends decision-making period for Hawaii Dairy Farms Final Environmental Impact Statement

Posted on Feb 14, 2017 in Latest News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is allowing an extension of the decision-making period for the Hawaii Dairy Farms Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The extension adds eight calendar days to the 30 calendar days allowed by statute for the approving agency to decide if the FEIS is acceptable. DOH, as the designated agency, must now render a decision on the FEIS by Feb 24, 2017.

“This is the first time DOH has been designated as the agency charged with determining the acceptability of a Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 343 state environmental review document,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health. “This is not business as usual, and the department will use the additional time to further analyze and evaluate the extensive research and data presented.”

On Jan. 17, 2017, Hawaii Dairy Farms provided the FEIS for its proposed project to establish and operate a grass-fed dairy farm on 557 acres of Important Agricultural Lands in Mahaulepu Valley, in the District of Koloa, on the island of Kauai. The project’s rotational grazing method proposes the use of 100 percent of the cows’ manure as fertilizer for pasture grass. Hawaii Dairy Farms is contemplating a herd size of up to 2,000 mature milking cows. On Feb. 14, Hawaii Dairy Farms requested an extension of the decision making period for the FEIS.

Background

On Jan. 23, 2015, the Hawaii Dairy Farms Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice was published by the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) with a 30-day public review and comment period. The notice identified DOH as the approving agency for the document. After receiving public comments, Hawaii Dairy Farms prepared and presented its Draft Environmental Impact Statement which was published on June 8, 2016 by OEQC with a 45-day public review and comment period. The FEIS was provided to DOH on Jan. 17, 2017, and published by OEQC on Feb. 8.

The FEIS is available at: http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/EA_and_EIS_Online_Library/Kauai/2010s/2017-02-08-KA-5E-FEIS-Hawaii-Dairy-Farms.pdf

and: http://health.hawaii.gov/epo.

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Media Contact:

Janice Okubo

Communications Office

Phone: (808) 586-4445

Email: janice.okubo@doh.hawaii.gov