Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mahaulepu Dairy EIS: No Impact

The draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that Mahaulepu dairy opponents demanded is now complete. But garans, they'll be unhappy with the report, which found that no significant impacts are likely.

The DEIS determined that neighbors are too far away to be impacted by noise and smells, flies can be controlled and dairy operations will “stabilize and protect soils across nearly 500 acres at Mahaulepu, reducing soil erosion and suspended sediment runoff to drainage ways and the nearshore ocean waters. In addition, the pasture based system will improve and revitalize the current soils and farming productivity of the land.”

Some short-term construction impacts, such as dust, erosion and traffic, are initially expected, the report states. However, "over the long term, impacts associated with the implementation of Hawai‘i Dairy Farms are anticipated to be modest and consistent with the agricultural setting in which the farm is located.”

Hawaii Dairy Farms — a $17.5 million pilot project financed by billionaire Pierre Omidyar — plans to employ a pasture-based rotational grazing method on former sugar cane land on Kauai's southside. Though an EIS wasn't required, HDF agreed to conduct the assessment to placate foes.

Opponents, which include owners of the Grand Hyatt, have filed suit to stop the project. Meanwhile, Friends of Mahaulepu and Surfrider have used The Garden Island, KKCR and social media to unleash a barrage of accusations about water pollution, noxious odors, fly hell, reduced residential property values and other harms, while deriding the dairy as “industrial ag” and inaccurately likening it to a confined animal feeding operation.

The DEIS, conducted by Group 70, analyzed the impacts from 699 mature milking cows, as well as a contemplated herd size of up to 2,000 cows. Its findings neatly deconstruct the various claims leveled by opponents:

With the dairy in operation, during periodic seasonal storm water runoff events (about 10 times/yr) there may be additional nutrients introduced to the agricultural ditches, which ultimately drain to the nearshore ocean water. However, it is estimated that just 2 percent of the nitrogen and 1 percent of the phosphorus produced have the potential to runoff the farm — levels that will not adversely affect ocean water quality or the marine environment.

HDF will conduct ongoing monitoring of surface and coastal waters to aid in farm management.

Nutrient loss will be minimized through vigorous pasture grass cover and thatch, and 35 ft wide vegetation buffers maintained along the agricultural ditches. Irrigation water will not be applied within 50 ft of the agricultural ditches. The vegetated buffers will also deter the movement of manure particles carried in runoff during peak storm events.

There is also the potential for vector insects such as flies to become established at the dairy farm. These will be controlled by Integrated Pest Management measures, as well as washing down the milking parlor and holding pens to minimize waste accumulation and fly populations and introducing dung beetles to the pasture paddocks to substantially hasten the breakdown of manure.

Air quality in the immediate vicinity of the dairy farm (within 1,700 feet) may, in the worst-case conditions, be affected with odors from the effluent pond and manure in the pasture paddocks. The odor extends to approximately 2,780-feet (about half a mile) for the 2,000-cow operation. However, the nearest homes, recreational areas and commercial centers are more than a mile away.

The DEIS identified the following beneficial impacts:

Increased local milk production, farm jobs, support for Kauai agriculture, youth education, “significant opportunities for local ranchers” and “increased soil conservation. Pasture creation and management will stabilize and protect soils across nearly 500 acres, reducing soil erosion and suspended sediment runoff to drainage ways and the nearshore ocean waters.

The report provided additional details about the project:

The rotational- grazing dairy system utilizes 100 of the manure produced by the cows to fertilize pastures, where the cows will spend 22 hours each day. Pasture grass on about will comprise 70 to 80 percent of the animals' diet.

Liquid effluent will be mixed with non-potable water from the Waita Reservoir, and applied to pastures through a GPS- controlled pivot irrigation system. Slurry created by mixing the solids with non-potable water will be applied through a mobile hard-hose reel dispensed through a gun nozzle referred to as a gun irrigation system.

HDF will work with two nearby ranches, Makoa and Omao, to tend dry cows during their annual rest period, raise female calves until they can be returned to the dairy and rear male calves as beef cattle.

The DEIS also noted that HDF had considered other sites on Grove Farm land, including 972 acres at Puhi, but determined they were less suitable and likely to result in greater environmental impacts.

Issues that remain unresolved include:

The final scaling of the milking cow herd size will ultimately be determined based on the results of pasture grass development at the site, and dairy cow milk production levels. HDF has committed to no more than 699 milking cows.

It is anticipated that the HDF dairy herd can be increased well beyond 1,000 to 1,500 milking cows and be sustainable from an operational and environmental perspective. Expansion beyond the 699 milking cows level will require issuance of a CAFO/NPDES permit by the State Dept of Health.

The scope of milk processing operations has yet to be resolved. The location for the milk processing activity has not been finalized. The opportunity to undertake value-added processing steps in milk products processing could also be conducted on-island. Completion of milk products processing on-island would create additional employment and government revenues for Kaua‘i, increase the availability of local milk products, and further bolster the local agricultural economy. 

If milk products processing is not undertaken on Kaua‘i, the pasteurized milk would be shipped in bulk to one of the existing processing facilities on O‘ahu or Hawai‘i Island for further process steps, packaging and marketing.

Absence any indication of real harm, my guess is the anti-ag activists will now claim the draft EIS is biased, and/or that crooked state and county agencies are green-lighting the project. Because doncha know the anti-ag folks are never, ever wrong?

Still, it's rather ironic that the past two weeks have seen the release of two expensive documents that were produced at the behest of ag opponents in an attempt to assess harms that activists have asserted as unequivocal truths. Yet neither the Joint Fact Finding report on Kauai agricultural pesticides nor the dairy EIS found any evidence to bolster the wild claims.

So can we please stop treating these people as legitimate critics and quit jumping through their hoops?

35 comments:

Anonymous said...


"So can we please stop treating these people as legitimate critics and quit jumping through their hoops?"

That is the question of the year!!!
I hope the answer is yes.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this will draw the attention of the anti's for a while and give westside ag a break. I love it. Poipu aggriculture!

Anonymous said...



In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas, or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values

Keith said...

Proving once again that the anti's are wrong wrong wrong. Anyone who still believes they have a claim might have to be checked because the only chemical/biological problem is probably within them.

Anonymous said...

In sociology we are all apes.

In science we are all made up of atoms.

In religion we are made from God.

In laymans term: fuck off.

Anonymous said...

The countries that invented the Chem/Bio weapons of mass destruction has BANNED their use in their countries.

#FACT

Anonymous said...

So I suppose Campbell soup company are all nuts and drinking the cool aid? Whith the grand pubah of chem companies Dow heir under indictment and organic beef such as Kobe beef now the new industry high bar I fail to see gloating over a cattle operation that is just going to fail and get flipped a la Coco Palms style until the new owners put up a new resort or millionaire homes. Big Ag has become the new gateway drug for big development, and I can see this dairy rolling in that direction.

I remember a time when big ag became big development. The smokescreen in front of all of this is pretty thin. To trash tiny Kauai and make it a free for all place where trashing our land soil air water and making a mockery of land use regulation meant to protect those things is a shameful travesty.
Also that goes double for vacay rentals and organic farms whose slave labor live in filth.
Btw I love Wootens goat milk cheese and honey but I can't afford it...please lower the price>

Anonymous said...

This is the same for pushing for $15 min wages. It's a smoke screen for automation. How do you think these billionaires got RICH? They ain't stupid and if the the action was reversed to where automation was before $15 wages then their would be a huge public outcry, demonstrations and boycotting.

This is the same way the insurance companies and drug companies got RICH over Obamacare.

It's all a smokescreen for GREED. And don't let us talk about BIG OIL and GAS because they've played the world for so long that it's comical how people/nations can be so gullible and ignorant at the same time.

Anonymous said...

What about Omiyadr and his EBay greed? Triple taxes sellers. The county of Kauai learned so well when that they triple taxes the solid waste trash cans from $6 to $18 dollars right after election and got side cash for solid waste on property taxes. So Clever

Anonymous said...

@3:02 & @4:02, you are just full of it. This is a case of a wealthy guy trying to help our islands produce food for the people who live here. The Draft EIS claims that potential environmental issues can be mitigated. It seems it would now be up to HDF to use the best practices outlined in that document, and safely produce milk for our island and state. If they can't contain the smell or there are measurable events of pollution, the entitlement documents should be written in such a way that we as a county can get rid of them.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't he put it back in Moloaa then? So your a full of slave blood. Get back to work slave. Most of the milk won't be sold or stay on Kauai you fucktard. You obviously wasn't here when the old dairy farms on Kauai operated and closed down. But you are the new pot AG and pro GMO crowd that would sacrifice anyone and everything for a paycheck. How pathetic you and people like you are.

Anonymous said...

Mahalo Joan for this well written summary of that huge document. Saved me a whole lot of time reading it. Although, I'm sure you spent a lot of time looking through it. That's why I love your blog, you do the hard work and lazies like me just get it from you. Plus, your information is way better than what comes out of news reports.

Anonymous said...

Soon we'll have another letter from some mainland lawyer hired by those two old gargoyle busybodies who posted the illegal sign at Waiopili Stream (actually, for real- Waiopili Ditch). WOTUS- blah, blah, blah, poo, poo, blah, blah. 3:02 is partly right: Stiff the dairy on IAL land and you will get a resort development at Mahaulepu that will kick the shit out of tired, dowdy old Poipu with its population of phony-aloha TVR operators and the Not So Grand Anymore Hyatt Resort and Spa. Think a Four Seasons Hualalai at Kaupulehu like property that Kauai lacks. Perfect location. Gimme the cows any day.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

@3:02 & @4:02, you are just full of it. This is a case of a wealthy guy trying to help our islands produce food for the people who live here. The Draft EIS claims that potential environmental issues can be mitigated. It seems it would now be up to HDF to use the best practices outlined in that document, and safely produce milk for our island and state. If they can't contain the smell or there are measurable events of pollution, the entitlement documents should be written in such a way that we as a county can get rid of them.
You are not from Kauai we have had 4 dairies here the last one Meadowgold you could smell for miles Lani Moo could no not save it and our local milk got more expensive. It was not given to the people. The older dairies produced milk for the people. There were once more cattle then people here. But none operated in an area like Mahaulepu. If Omyidar had put it at the Moloaa site no one would have had any objection. Further this milk is going to Oahu where it will come back twice as expensive. In 10 year it will be millionaire homes and resorts.

Anonymous said...

Also none of you were there to protect and preserve this area we hoped in perpetuity. Dairies are great but not there its ag upzoning flip scheme I am right about this. Cows will be there a few years then they go back in and upzone it. Why cant you see this?

Joan Conrow said...

8:59. The dairy will be on Important AG Lands. it's not so easy to up zone as other AG land. It requires a vote of the Lege to take it out of IAL designation.

Anonymous said...

Why would you assume he had the option to put it at Moloaa? Plus when there was a dairy at Moloaa there WERE problems with neighbors cause they were so close by. So ridiculous.

Joni Kamiya said...

The EIS not going their way is nothing new. The activists on Maui wanted to block an EIS by A&B because they knew that it would mean the water redirection would be okay. These folks will litigate any organization trying to actually feed people out of business. What will keep Hawaii from being self sustaining is the courtroom.

Anonymous said...


If you want to buy a bunch of AG land and not do AG ,

Well rock on with your bad self.

A great blog by maybe the best blogmiester anywhere, some very classic commenters, ---- and yet we still have too many people that think they should decide what others do with their land?????

I dunno, seems creepy. Yep it's downright rock bottom ,filthy dirty,coveting other peoples farms level creeps.

Please Trey Parker come back... We are such a target rich environment that deserves a great lampooning.

Anonymous said...

Kauai is getting closer to becoming sustainable. Just think, if our shipping lines get cut off, we have milk, beef, coffee, rum, poi and corn. Just need toilet paper and rice. Oh and we have our own electric utility which is getting more into alternative energy sources.

Anonymous said...


2:46 PM,

I would like to single you out hash tag fact. Just for curiosity's sake, please tell us your personal demographics. Not your name or anything that would give you away,, just an essence of who you are. We got a bet running and only you can declare the winner.

Thanks

Anonymous said...


16:02 rides a donkey to get a latte and uses a smoke signal to transfer messages on computer while milking goats that eat Jesus grass but not inhale till its medicinal then Jo Anne told her to ride the bus and let the working fools pay for it but the bus hit a pothole and was never seen again

Anonymous said...

Meadow decided to pull the dairy out of Moloaa for logistical reasons. Then later AmFac sold the land. New owner, no dairy. The neighbors had noting to do with the Dairy leaving the area. The neighbors were all newbies and still afraid of back lash.
It used to be if someone threatened local jobs, it was a choice. You either got a short one way on a boat or a scary trip to the airport.
People never f*cked with jobs, until the Nukolii deal. Nukolii would have gone thru smoothly until JoAnn said that "if Nukolii goes in there will be building hotels from Lihue to Kapaa" An uproar, a good political message and the birth of the first limp wristed Antis. Nukolii went thru, no problem. There was some energy spent by the community but JOBS always win.
Da Hoos. JoAnn and Mason's support comes mainly from mainlanders. People who have no cultural ties or an understanding of the importance of jobs to the community.
JoAnn and Gary cater to wealthy people who only care that their Island stays as the paradise it was when they retired here. These retirees put some "volunteer" time in and are part of a select community....but they ain't touched by the history or the people of Kauai.

Anonymous said...

5:38 Trey's too busy building a Multi Mansion at Kukuiula...BIG bIG Big and he deserves it. A man who changes Amerika.

Anonymous said...


Hey thanks 6:40,

Well well well welcome home Trey. Oh dear heavily father for those about to get "lampooned" - hell yea ya got it comming. This dudes a genius and knows more about our target rich environment than all of us combined.

Anonymous said...

Think about this....the money for any future arguments should be spent to the homeless and less fortunate. Food banks would welcome the monies. Some people think only of themselves first. Where is the Aloha?

Anonymous said...

Axe your momma BIH. I'm your Daddy all you all daddy's. You ain't get no child support from me cause I told that BIH to have an abortion.

Anonymous said...

For all you Trey Parker supporters: that coward let a friend die without justice and didn't even attend a court hearing. A true coward with money. If I had all that money then all the unsolved murders on Kauai would be solved. Believe that

Anonymous said...

Grove Farm has non-IAL ag land in the area without touching the IAL dedication. And by forgoing 1700 acres of entitled re-designation on its 12,000 acres of IAL land, GF probably has a bit of goodwill with the Hawaii LUC. There was a lot of talk about preserving Mahaulepu, but unfortunately they talked and talked but nobody passed the hat as the land got more and more valuable.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Joan Conrow said...

8:59. The dairy will be on Important AG Lands. it's not so easy to up zone as other AG land. It requires a vote of the Lege to take it out of IAL designation.

June 8, 2016 at 9:59 PM

Oh well thats good then!

Anonymous said...

6:30 am ".......... Touché ", jobs and housing. I remember those days as if it were yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to hear the moo moo...ing in Mahalepu. How I miss the Kauai Dairy.

Anonymous said...

Plus we get magic mushrooms from the cow shit!!

Anonymous said...

"People never f*cked with jobs, until the Nukolii deal. Nukolii would have gone thru smoothly until JoAnn said that "if Nukolii goes in there will be building hotels from Lihue to Kapaa" An uproar, a good political message and the birth of the first limp wristed Antis. Nukolii went thru, no problem. There was some energy spent by the community but JOBS always win."

Nukolii was a scam. A hui of well connected politicos bought the old dairy property at ag land prices and then sold it to developers with a guarantee that the property would be upzoned to resort. I guess you like smooth corruption eh?

Aloufalu said...

No impact is right. It is pointless. Purely a rich guys endeavor. 6 jobs. 50 k in tax income for Kauai. GHK employs over 1000
Millions of income for County. And it will stink big time.