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Hawaiian Dairy Farm Dumps Toxic Animal Waste, Again

by | January 14, 2019

Big Island Dairy has once again illegally dumped thousands of gallons of toxic animal waste into the coastal waters of Hawaii. On December 24th, the Hawaiian state health department issued a warning to residents to avoid the Kaohaoha Gulch, saying that it contained toxic levels of animal waste.

toxic animal waste
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Hawaiian Dairy Farm Dumps Toxic Animal Waste, Again

This is not the first time Big Island Dairy has polluted the Hawaiian coast, shockingly, this is the third such toxic waste dump that we know of. Back in May, the dairy farm illegally dumped 2.3 million gallons of poisonous sewage, and soon added to that another dumping of 5.6 million gallons of waste in August. The company was fined $25,000 for pollution in May 2017, and the Department of Health has since issued fines totaling $91,000 on December 4th for spills between April and May. The Department of Health is unsure if the farm will face a penalty for the most recent spill as it happened during Hurricane Lane.

Anna Koethe, a State Department of Health spokeswomen, told AP News that the farm management said that pumps were used to drain the wastewater lagoons in order to prevent overspill.

In 2017 Ookla residents filed a lawsuit against the dairy farm for liquid manure, cattle urine, and other toxic animal waste they dumped into ravines that flow to the Pacific Ocean. Big Island Dairy said they would cease operations by February of 2019. The lawsuit claims that Big Island Dairy has continuously violated the Clean Water Act.

Charlie Tebbut, an attorney for Ookala residents, said there was a tremendous amount of pollution that went into the gulches and out into the Pacific Ocean. The attorney has also claimed that neither the farm nor the Department of Health is doing enough to fix the toxic animal waste problem, and that the citizen’s suit is the people’s way of protecting themselves when the government fails to do their job of protecting the public.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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