Big Island Dairy will close all operations

Accessed on 21 November 2018, 0307 UTC, Post 17994.


Reporter:  Stephanie Salmons.

Please click link to read the full story.


The owners of The Big Island Dairy have confirmed their intention to close the dairy and all milk processing activities at the Ookala site “for financial reasons.”  Owners Derek and Steve Whitesides tell reporter Stephanie Salmons that the dairy “has reached a point that it lacks the additional resources necessary to continue…under current economic and regulatory conditions.”

According to Ms. Salmons, The Big Island Dairy has been the target of community criticism for its wastewater disposal practices:

“Residents of Ookala have complained for several years about releases of manure-laden water into nearby gulches that run through or next to the community.

A discharge in May released nearly 2.3 million gallons of rain and wastewater during a period of three days, and in August, heavy rain from Hurricane Lane caused a wastewater pond at the dairy to overflow, sending more untreated effluent into a nearby gulch.

A lawsuit alleging violations of the federal Clean Water Act was filed in 2017 in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.

In a notice of violation and order issued in April 2017, the Clean Water Branch ordered corrective actions that included “ceasing the discharge of pollutants to state waters.”

The DOH fined the dairy $25,000 in May 2017 for unlawful discharge of wastewater.”

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Until next time,

Russ Roberts