Your Views for June 29


Hu Honua’s path

Recently a letter to the editor appeared that made several incorrect statements about the renewable energy facility being built by Hu Honua Bioenergy at Pepeekeo. To correct the record:

1. Refurbishing of the Hu Honua renewable energy facility began in the summer of 2012 when we removed both old equipment, which had been used for coal handling, and antiquated emission-control apparatus. Going forward, the plant will use entirely new equipment, including biomass-handling equipment and advanced technology for emissions control.

2. Hu Honua has embraced, not fought, advanced pollution control. The current sponsors of the Hu Honua renewable energy facility voluntarily relinquished the original air permit and undertook the lengthy process of obtaining a new permit based upon more stringent, current air emissions requirements. This new air permit is the result of extensive work, which began in 2010 and has continued in a cooperative manner with the air-permitting regulators. Hu Honua has not sought a variance or an exception to those regulatory requirements. Hu Honua even elected to install supplemental emissions-control equipment beyond what was required.

3. The Hu Honua renewable energy facility will not be “wasting a major part of the wood.” Good sivilculture practice includes leaving the tops and small branches of trees in the field so that they can serve to replenish the soil with nutrients needed for the next generations of tree growth, while also inhibiting erosion from rain. As for the biomass utilized by the facility, 96 percent is used in the process of producing renewable electricity, and 4 percent is residual ash, which is used as a soil amendment.

4. Over the past four years, Hu Honua has participated in a wide range of regulatory review and public comment activity. We have welcomed input from the broader community — elected and appointed officials and citizens. While this outreach resulted in the extensive time it has taken to move the Hu Honua renewable energy facility forward, we have found from the input that the local community supports:

— reasonable development of renewable energy that creates local jobs;

— diversified economic development for the broader community;

— a modern renewable energy facility that provides both lower electricity prices and complements wind and solar electricity production, and;

— less reliance on fossil fuels.

The process of bringing the Hu Honua renewable energy facility to completion has endured challenges and difficulties, but worthwhile efforts often do. Hu Honua has chosen the long view and avoided short cuts or quick fixes. It will continue on that path.

John Sylvia

President and CEO, Hu Honua Bioenergy

Ban on the way?

Oahu has yet to pass a plastic bag ban like the rest of the islands have. A plastic bag ban on Oahu is in the works, but at the same time, they are also trying to ban the traditional takeout plate lunch containers that are made of foam.

Don’t be surprised if the rest of the islands follow suit if Oahu’s foam container ban becomes law. Food establishments say that biodegradable containers will cost a lot more than the current foam ones, and they will have to pass on the costs to their customers. Eateries could give a discount to customers who bring their own takeout containers — be it foam, paper or plastic. Both eateries and customers will benefit financially.

Rick LaMbontagne

Volcano

Help the vets

Regarding “VA falls short on women’s care” in the June 23 Tribune-Herald: Yet another black eye for the VA medical system, and yet only two letters regarding this travesty have been printed in letters to the editor, and those were from two lucky guys who got an appointment and were treated well.

There seemed to be more interest in GMOs, both pro and con, and a moot situation.

I believe our veterans who have come home broken, physically and emotionally, should have had more interest from the public, as their problems are real. But it’s too late for those who have died waiting for an appointment or who have committed suicide out of frustration.

Come on, people. Let your letters help those who are in charge — especially those who have used veterans as part of their election campaigns — get to the bottom of this fiasco so our deserving people can have a future after serving us all.

I have no doubt that the administrators have no problem taking care of themselves.

Carmine Spada

Pahoa

 

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