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BLOG: Dealing With Dust in HPP — UPDATED

June 13, 2013, 7:06 PM HST
* Updated June 14, 4:16 PM
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Editor’s note: The following was posted before your intrepid-ish reporter learned the following day that a bill already exists to establish a 15 mph speed limit on unpaved roads in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Bill 82, like Bill 83, will be heard by the Hawaii County Council on Tuesday in Kona. We’re not sure how he missed it on the agenda, but we’re blaming it on impaired vision resulting from dust encountered on the unpaved roads in his own sub-standard subdivision.

Hawaiian Paradise Park has 138 miles of roads, but only 50 of those are paved.

So why is county legislation that would establish speed limits in the Puna subdivision being restricted to just the paved ones?

The question is particularly puzzling when one considers that dust raised by vehicles on the other 88 is a significant problem.

“Fugitive dust,” as it is called, has been such a headache in HPP that it has spawned at least three complaints to the state Department of Health. The DOH, backed by the state attorney general, has in turn told the Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Association that the situation violates state law.

The matter prompted the subdivision’s community association  to form a Fugitive Dust Committee.

According to a report from that committee, each violation of HRS Chapter 342B, which deals with air pollution control, is punishable by fines of up to $25,000 per day.

Efforts underway to pave more roads in the subdivision have been met with resistance because of the high cost — $23 million is one figure that has been bandied about – and by accusations of favoritism regarding which street gets paved next.

The community association is considering a variety of other remedies to the dust problem that include watering the roads, speed humps, dust fences and application of a sealant such as Soil Sement.

Another suggestion is to force drivers to slow down to 15 mph so their vehicles won’t generate as much dust.

Which is where the Hawaii County Council could enter the picture.

There are already two bills in the works to establish speed limits on HPP’s roads, but those specifically exclude the unpaved ones.

Don’t be surprised if a third one arises.

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