Saturday, July 02, 2022 |
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A planned expansion of Meadow Gold Dairies’ Hilo processing plant has cleared a significant hurdle.
A final environmental assessment released Tuesday for the project found no significant impacts.
Meadow Gold — which occupies 1.42 acres of state land in at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Leilani Street — plans to expand onto adjacent state land in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area.
The expansion plan also would provide a roadway lot that would allow Leilani Street to be extended.
Bahman Sadeghi, a former Big Island dairy farmer who acquired the Meadow Gold brand and most of its assets in April 2020, said in December the expansion would basically double the facility’s capacity.
“We’re running practically 24/7 … fulfilling, as much as we can, the state’s requirement (of dairy products) — all out of Hilo,” Sadeghi said at that time. “So, we really are busting at the seams, so to speak.”
Sadeghi said the facility in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area processes about 200,000 gallons of milk a month, with about 10%, or 20,000 gallons, coming from Cloverleaf Dairy in Hawi, the only Hawaii dairy producing milk for commercial processing and retail sale.
According to Sadeghi, the expansion of the plant will allow Meadow Gold to broaden its product line as well as process a larger amount of milk and other products.
He said the expansion of the plant would “bring back the culture” that existed prior to the shuttering of Meadow Gold’s Oahu processing facility.
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