Strong Show of Community Support for Hu Honua at Air Permit Hearing

Bioenergy plant meets or exceeds the state and federal standards

PAPAIKOU, HI – September 16, 2010 – More than 50 community members showed up tonight at the Kalanianaole Elementary Cafeteria for an air permit hearing held by the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH). The majority of testimony received was in favor of approving the draft air permit for the Hu Honua project.

Several testifiers noted the thorough job done by the DOH Clean Air Branch in preparing the draft permit, especially with regard to requirements that the plant use the best available emissions control technology.

“While we were gratified to see the community come out in support of this project and hear a majority of testifiers advocating DOH acceptance of the draft air permit, it was equally important no substantive objections were expressed in opposing testimony. Those objections that were raised indicated the testifiers had not read or did not understand the draft air permit being considered, or that they were not familiar with state and federal air-quality regulations.”

McQuain explained, “For example, the issue of ongoing monitoring was raised, with the mistaken belief that readings of emissions would only be taken annually. In fact, there is considerable language in the draft permit being considered dealing with ongoing monitoring, which requires reporting on an hourly basis.

“Likewise, some opponents asked that Hu Honua be held to standards much more stringent than both state and federal requirements, which are already quite robust, apparently unaware of the standards or the fact that we have proposed to meet not only existing standards, but also pending future more stringent standards for the use of best available control technology for plant emissions.”

“Although the issue at the hearing was air quality, many of the testifiers in support also noted the economic and employment benefits the plant would bring, as well as the importance of a firm power facility providing renewable energy and reducing the state’s dependence on fossil fuels, especially imported oil.”

Public comment on the draft air permit will be received through October 12. It will also go to the EPA for review before the DOH makes a final decision, which is expected before the end of the year.

About Hu Honua
Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC is retrofitting the former coal-burning power plant at Pepeekeo with modern “green” technology to produce electricity from locally grown crops. Hu Honua is a Hawaii-based company created to meet local electricity needs using renewable resources from Hawaii Island.