New Evidence proves Grove Farm and Kauai Department of Water Department Corruption
You won’t believe what you are about to read. See featured email [article inset graphic] from KDOW engineer, Dustin Moises, to Mike Dahilig, when he was the Planning Director. As you’ll recall, we have a lawsuit ongoing against Kaua‘i Department Of Water (KDOW) for their plan to add 9000 feet of a new 18″ main. We objected to their Environmental Assessment (EA) on the grounds that there was no permit for the water being diverted from the Wailua watershed which includes State stream diversions on Wai`ale`ale and Waikoko. We also objected to the lack of any environmental assessment of the streams, animal or plant life because KDOW limited their EA to an evaluation of the Kapaia Reservoir and some wells in the area, deliberately failing to evaluate the environmental impact to the source of the water diverted to the Kapaia Reservoir. As you read the email from our water engineer, Moises, to the Planning Director you will find that KDOW admits that they are not doing what is legally required. [article inset]
Our water department, KDOW, is cooperating with Grove Farm to deceive the public and prevent disclosure of the lack of proper permits and environmental review for the water KDOW purchases annually from Grove for $2.4 million in addition to paying 2/3’s of all operating, maintenance and expansion costs plus 100% of the power bill to operate Grove’s water treatment plant. [See article inset of KDOW/Grove Farm agreement]
KDOW pays those bills with the money they collect from us. Even the County engineer knows that County funds were used to construct the WTP and use of government funds mandates an environmental review of the water source and surrounding area before the plants construction. Dustin Moises admits in his email that no environmental review has been done even with the current EA that prompted our lawsuit.
The said [article inset] email is nothing short of a total admission to every claim made in our lawsuit. If successful on appeal, it will be dispositive of our claims. Basically the engineer admits:
KDOW – Grove Farm Surface Water Treatment Plant was constructed with County money, without any Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA) in violation of Hawaii Environmental Policy Act (HEPA) and Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) 343
- The plant has operated since 2004 with aluminum exceedences and has continued problems with the State on a wastewater permit they lost April 30, 2016. (This fact we know from the recent Public Notice and its the one item not discussed by Moises.) See aluminum exceedences from 2009 – 2019:
FILES WILL BE UPLOADED HERE AT A TIME WHEN SOON COMPLETED (missing reports for 2018-2020 have been requested)
- The SWTP operators have never obtained the State required permit for the diversion and sale of State water. (Moises refers to the operators failure to clear the operation with CWRM which confirms the merits of our claim that this operation has been, since day one, in violation of HRS §171.58.)
- Moises admits that the public is not being informed in the Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) about the need to install the pipe because of the known plan to expand the SWTP from 3 MGD to at least 4.5 MGD giving rise for the need for increased capacity and the need for the new 18″ main. So while the 18″ main is proposed as an alleged relief of a pressure problem caused by a segment of 12″ main, Moises reports that there is a question as to whether that pressure problem is even real and he refers to hand written notes and calculations by others in the Department and by then Director Bryan Wienand.
- He admits that they should study the environmental impact to the Wailua tributaries that are diverted into the Kapaia Reservoir noting that they have a problem and should include the upstream flow or water source because no EA or EIS has ever been done.
- He reports on the need for a Cultural Impact Study and suggests that his review of the EA did not find it sufficiently open and transparent with the public.
Now Grove Farm is asking the State to issue the required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permit that they lost April 30, 2016. In fact, if you go on the State’s website you will find: their permit was “Terminated.”
So how can the State now propose to give Grove Farm a NPDES wastewater permit when so many laws have been violated in the construction and operation of the Waiahi WTP already?
COMMENTS ARE IMPORTANT AND CAN BE MADE to the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH proposal to issue an NPDES wastewater permit, a permit that should have been in place between 2016 and now.
All public comments should be emailed to: