Resort wells should be looked at for reef health
DLNR’s examination of our islands’ coral reefs’ health found islandwide partial coral bleaching and 100% coral bleaching at two West Hawaii locations where the shoreline connects to golf course runoff.
Any runoff from a golf course is in direct violation of the Clean Water Act, which clearly defines “wells” as a direct point source for pollutants into groundwater as well as “seepage pits” that discharge below the mean groundwater table level.
Pollutants in groundwater are fairly traceable from a point source and this is consistent with accepted science. This approach recognizes the intrinsic connections between surface waters and groundwater, and it recognizes that scientists have developed robust methods to measure groundwater flow and track contaminants.
In some cases, like the one currently before the Hawaii Supreme Court, because of the hydrological connection, a discharge of a pollutant to groundwater is the functional equivalent of a discharge into the navigable water.
In contrast, I suspect the Kohanaiki resort’s means-of-delivery test disregards hydrogeologic reality, by ignoring all surface water and groundwater connections, as well as the scientific methods used to track pollutants. Thirty-feet deep seepage pits filled with waste from resort’s sewage treatment plant are 5 feet below the mean groundwater table. To assume that there is no discharge into the ocean is a simplistic interpretation of the Clean Water Act and is inconsistent with Congress’s intent (as evinced by the use of the terms “well” and “discrete fissure” in the definition of point source) and the overall purpose of the Clean Water Act.
Who foots the bill?
I don’t stand on either side of this heated debate but I do have one question: Who will make up the lost income and wages for the tour companies and their personnel?
The state? The county? Kiai?
Conversation captures it
Overheard at McDonald’s:
“Whata dey mean, ‘sacred mountain’? Like at my church? I go and pick the weeds outa da lawn. I know dey neva pull one weed up dare.”
TMT brings good; time to move ahead
The TMT project will be favorable to both native Hawaiians and scientists. Its end result will be twofold. It will help boost our economy by providing more jobs and a means to maintaining our roads and infrastructures. It will help provide funds for those on government assistance. It will help provide education beyond our present understanding of life.
Our Lahui and the scientists can work together to bring positive values to our keiki.
Yes, our forefathers were deeply wronged but it is time to move ahead. Let us accept the law of the land. Let us take full advantage of what is being offered and not confine ourselves to the past.
Christiano Hashimoto Sr.