Consent Order Signed as Hawaiian Dairy Closes

The order was completed to address numerous discharges of wastewater containing manure from the dairy to state waters during the past two years that were documented by the department, and it requires Big Island Dairy's owners to terminate their dairy operations.

The Hawaii Department of Health entered into an Administrative Order on Consent on March 28 with the owners of Big Island Dairy, LLC. The order was completed to address numerous discharges of wastewater containing manure from the dairy to state waters during the past two years that were documented by the department, and it requires Big Island Dairy's owners to terminate their dairy operations, remove all of their cows from confinement on the site, clean and remove the existing wastewater system, and pay $79,000 by June 2019, either as an administrative penalty or to fund an environmentally beneficial project in the area, according to DOH.

The removal of cows in confinement and the cleaning and removal of the dairy's wastewater system are expected to halt the odor and wastewater discharges that have affected neighbors in O'okala during operations at the facility.

"Entry into the AOC ensures that the closing of the dairy is being conducted in an expeditious and responsible manner," said Keith Kawaoka, DOH deputy director of environmental health. "While the Department of Health supports local agricultural and food sustainability, operation of industrial agricultural facilities must be conducted in a manner that respects both Hawaii's delicate environment and the local communities that host them."

DOH reported that Big Island Dairy was unable to comply with state and federal laws in place to protect human and environmental health due to the dairy's size, the limitations of its wastewater system, and local environmental conditions. The property receives a large amount of rainfall and has steep slopes and volcanic soils making it susceptible to flooding and wastewater discharges.

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