|The third brushfire in a week broke out near Punalu`u yesterday and was quickly put out by firefighters. |
Photo by Michael Neal
Much of the resort development along the coast would be on what is now Conservation land and includes the Pohue Bay endangered turtle nesting area, which the developers promise to preserve.
The developers first introduced a much larger resort with an airport but reduced the size and eliminated the airport. They also promise Hawaiian cultural educational centers and a veterans’ center.
A THIRD BRUSHFIRE in a week tore through grassland near Punalu`u yesterday. Witnesses spotted a small fire on the makai side of Highway 11 on the turn-in road to Punalu`u. One witness who called 911 was told that fire emergency services were aware of the fire, but were busy containing a larger fire on mauka side of Highway 11 that burned 10 acres the day before. Hawai`i and Pahala firefighters arrived within 20 minutes of the call and began containing the fire. A much larger fire burned 85 acres near Punalu`u last week.
Bonne also testified that bio- and geo-fuels should only be used as road, air and marine transportation fuels, where direct conversion of biomass to engine power is much less available or practical. He said that for transportation fuels, “extra wind and geo electricity, presently curtailed and not needed by the grid,” could be used to make C02 from air and H2 from water to create synthetic fuels such as gasoline, aviation fuel, diesel and ammonia.
He also asked AKP to disclose the nature of the emissions for which they have applied for an EPA permit for 250 tons/year (760 ppm of biomass weight). He asked whether the permit is 250 tons for each pollutant or for total noxious emissions.
The second point he covered was safety of storage tanks for 1.25 million gallons of fuel that `Aina Koa Pono would keep on hand just off Wood Valley Road along Meyer Camp Road. “The tank foundations,” he says, “will be designed in accordance with U.S. standards for design of diesel storage facilities both in the field of engineering and the insurance industry.” Kucharski addressed the threat of earthquakes to the tanks by citing a 2006 study of the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries that states that between 1960 and 2003 worldwide there seven natural disaster-related storage tank failures. Of these seven, three were in the U.S. and were not due to earthquakes but due to hurricanes.
The site selected for the refinery is near the Wood Valley epicenter of one of the top ten most severe earthquakes in U.S. history, other testifiers pointed out.
Kucharski addressed the greenhouse gas impact of the refinery by citing an analysis by AECOM and Eichleay Engineers. He said the model “was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy called the GREET Model” which “indicated a reduction in greenhouse gasses in comparison to a fossil fueled plant by a factor of 12 times.” He also noted that the closed loop nature of the plant allowed it to produce “very little emissions.”
In his last point, Kucharski said that AECOM tested the viability of the microwave depolymerization technology for six months and determined that “the technology is viable, mechanically sound, will meet or exceed OSHA standards for microwave personnel protection and will at a minimum produce the output projected.” He finished his testimony by stating that AECOM and TekGar will issue a performance guarantee for the project and its stakeholders.
DEAN NAGASAKO, of Pahala, testified at the Hilo hearing, saying, “a`ole to the biochemical plant proposed for Pahala. First of all, it's too close to Pahala. Secondly, the individual electric customers are having to flip the bill. Simply said, this is a project where it is no can do,” testified Nagasako.
LEE MCINTOSH, of Discovery Harbour, wrote testimony in opposition, saying: “I oppose any ventures that will increase our electric rates. We are already paying four times the national average, which is unacceptable. The purpose of the PUC is to find a balance in protecting rate payers and the utility companies, not giving the electric utilities a free pass to do as they please.”
Said McIntosh, “The success of this venture is based solely on the flawed assumption that the price of oil will continue to rise, eventually making alternative energy projects such as this viable. If that prediction fails, then rate payers are stuck with the cost of funding an unnecessary and expensive venture.”
|Volcano Golf Course hosts a fundraiser|
for the Boys and Girls Club Saturday.
GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and Education Board Chairman Don Horner have rejected the Hawai`i State Teacher’s Association’s request for arbitration. A joint statement yesterday regarding the pay and benefit cuts the state imposed on the union last month discouraged the union’s supposed “negotiations via the media”, referring to the union’s interpretation of a recent YouTube video of the governor telling the union’s Big Island president Wayne Joseph that the governor was ready to mediate with assistance from a third party. Earlier, the union filed a prohibited practice complaint to the Hawai`i Labor Relations Board after the administration imposed the pay cuts, claiming the state violated collective bargaining rights.