Friday, August 4, 2017

USA, Hawaii: Geothermal Royalties Would Support Community Health and Safety Projects

Bill would expand use of geothermal fund (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

An aerial view of Puna Geothermal Venture and surrounding neighborhoods are seen near Pahoa.
HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald 
A bill that would allow Hawaii County to spend its geothermal royalties on “community health and safety projects” will be sent to the Planning Commission for review.

The County Council voted 8-0 Tuesday during the Finance Committee meeting to send it to the panel before advancing it to a vote at a regular council meeting.

The royalties go into the county’s geothermal relocation and community benefits program, established in 1998 initially to purchase homes of people who feel adversely affected by Puna Geothermal Venture, the state’s only geothermal power plant, near Pahoa. The county Planning Department manages the fund, along with a separate geothermal asset fund.

The council later changed the relocation fund to also allow the money to be spent for the benefit of Puna, such as improving roads, water infrastructure, parks, civil defense and mass transit services.

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