Geothermal Update 9/2/14

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Geothermal Action Alert -- Health Study
I hope everyone is well. I realize with the lava threat and the aftermath of tropical storm Iselle and the accident at PGV, that people may be a bit dazed or just busy. In all that has and is happening I want you to be aware that a very important geothermal meeting, a hearing about funding a proposal for bids on a geothermal health study is this Friday. If you can, please help us get the word out to as many people as possible by sharing this and telling your friends, neighbors, and families, to please come if possible.

In case you have not seen the news stories and videos or heard the personal statements of residents gassed by PGV on August 7th, there is a link to a story with video's of the last PPA community meeting held with officials, at the bottom of the page. If you already know about this we hope you also can help us get the word out to as many people as we can to come to the:
Geothermal Health Study RFP funding request before the
Windward Planning Commission this Thursday at 12:30pm

The hearing on funding the proposed Request For Proposals (RFP) to do a geothermal health study will be in the Apuni Conference room at the Hamakua end of the county building complex near the Department of Motor vehicles office.

PPA is asking for help from the community now. We believe if we hope to get more than we have gotten in the past from the planning Commission we need the county Planning Department who issued the PGV Geothermal Resource Permit (GRP) to recognize the scope of harm and the County's responsibility through the GRP for of what has happened -- none of this would be happening without shortfalls in the permit. Those hurt by the August 7th uncontrolled venting are being ignored by the county and the state, where is any help for them? Why are geothermal victims treated different than other victims of storm injuries?

A question might be why with County oversight through the GRP does PPA have to hold meetings on the geothermal accidents like the serious August 7th geothermal uncontrolled release that trapped people in their homes that were filled with toxic geothermal gas clouds? Where are the regulators? Why haven't they come out to our community to meet with us on their own initiative?

Anyone who is interested in the proposed health study is also concerned about the accidents at PGV including August 7th, and those that were trapped and had to endure the geothermal gasses with no way to escape should come if possible. This is your chance to demonstrate first hand to the county geothermal permitting authority that there are known health effects (you) by telling your stories if you can. PPA is taking the following position on the proposed RFP process:
A clear understanding of what happened during the release of geothermal toxins on August 7 could significantly change the nature of the health study that would be appropriate.  We ask that the action of forwarding the mayor's package to the claims adjuster be put on a short hold.  The reasoning behind this recommendation is outlined below:
A release of geothermal toxins from Puna Geothermal Venture during Tropical Storm Iselle may have affected the health of dozens of nearby residents.  A review (much like that conducted by Goddard and Goddard following the 1991 blowout) should be conducted to determine among other things:
  • the cause of the release on August 7 and the cause of a series of apparently smaller releases during the week following August 7;
  • the amount of geothermal toxins released;
  • possible range of exposures from the geothermal toxins released;
  • development of a catalog of people experiencing symptoms, their location relative to the release, and timing of those symptoms; and
  • the likelihood that the symptoms cataloged could have been caused by the exposures possibly received.
Such a review could possibly establish that harm has been caused by PGV emissions, precluding the need for the kind of health study currently proposed.  When the results of the review are understood, the need for the type of health study asked for by the RFP would be much clearer.  Prompt action at that point would be appropriate.

Puna Pono Alliance recommends temporarily holding authorization for considering the funding of the RFP until we have learned the implications of the release. Puna Pono Alliance has and is continuing to collect data of possible health effects and will work with any governmental agency to conduct the cataloging effort
At this time, when the health and safety of our families are at stake, we need to come together as one community and work together, to force the regulators to acknowledge, address, and finally begin to resolve these long-standing issues.

Thank you all for supporting each other, PPA, and the community members who were affected by the accident. We understand the frustrations and want to help any way we can. This is one way we an all help now.



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