Friday, October 23, 2015

USA, Hawaii: Lawsuit Suspends Noninvasive Geothermal Survey

Lawsuit challenges Hualalai geothermal survey (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

A lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Environmental Court seeking to require an environmental assessment for a geothermal exploration project on Hualalai.

The nine plaintiffs include six West Hawaii residents who live on or near the mountain and representatives of two groups that have opposed geothermal development in Puna — the Puna Pono Alliance and Pele Defense Fund.

Plaintiffs say they are concerned about potential impacts to Hualalai’s “sensitive cultural and natural environment.”

The University of Hawaii survey, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and state Department of Land and Natural Resources, will occur on 19 parcels on agriculture land.

Noninvasive techniques will be used to measure the electrical conductivity of rocks as deep as 20,000 feet to determine their temperature and water content. The process will allow researchers to avoid drilling exploration holes, according to the university.