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County Halts Development of Proposed Composting Facility

April 6, 2017, 3:30 PM HST
* Updated April 7, 9:47 AM
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The Hawai‘i County Department of Environmental Management has formally withdrawn its Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for a proposed composting facility in Pana‘ewa amid residents’ concerns that the location of the facility would impose adverse impacts on the community.

This location was specifically identified in the Compost Contract.

DEM Director Bill Kucharski withdrew the documents in an April 4, 2017, letter to the State Department of Health’s Office of Environmental Quality Control.

“The Proposing Agency, the County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management, Solid Waste Division, has withdrawn the (Draft Environmental Assessment) published on Sept. 8, 2016, due to concerns that the location of the proposed facility could impose additional impacts on the local communities, many of whom claim a disproportionate share of undesirable land uses,” Kucharski’s letter said.

The letter also withdrew an Anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact for the proposed facility.

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In the letter, Kucharski noted that the proposed East Hawai‘i Organics Facility was intended to divert organic waste, such as green waste, food waste, paper and compostable material from Hawai‘i County’s landfills.

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The facility’s aim was to generate compost from mulch and food wastes to support agriculture and homeowners.

Withdrawal of the document puts an end to the concerns of the local community about the location of the proposed compost facility at the Hilo landfill site.

While The EA was held pending since the December 2016 meeting between Mayor Kim and the local community, the formal withdrawal of the EA closes this chapter.

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The county will pursue new locations and is in the process of renegotiating the composting contract to allow for alternate locations.

For further information, call Kucharski at (808) 217-2750.

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