Monday, February 22, 2016

USA, Hawaii: Hualalai Geothermal Study Halted

UH cancels Hualalai geothermal projects (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

Facing a lawsuit by a group opposing the exploration, plus dwindling funding and loss of key staff, the University of Hawaii is requesting that the state Board of Land and Natural Resources  (BLNR) cancel an exploration permit issued to the university last March. Additionally, researchers are asking BLNR to rescind another permit the board approved for the exploration, according to a request submitted by state Department of Land and Natural Resources Chief Engineer Carty Chang.

The new development is a victory for the Pele Defense Fund, said the group’s vice president, Terri Napeahi.

DLNR contracted UH in June 2014 to continue magnetotulluric and gravity surveys on the Hualalai West Rift Zone. The BLNR approved two exploration permits, one in March 2015 and another in June, although the second permit has not been issued because of documentation issues.

The survey, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and state DLNR, would have taken place on 19 parcels on agricultural land. But UH has been unable to progress past the permitting stage and future funding is questionable, according the Chang’s submittal to the land board.