BY BUCK QUAYLE
Maui Pioneer Mill Co.'s request for designation of ocean discharge areas for power plant waste water has been postponed due to opposition from a group of Maui environmentalists.
A hearing on the request will be continued by the State Health Dept. Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the State Office Building conference room in Wailuku. An initial hearing, conducted by Dr Walter Quisenberry, State Health Director, was held last week in Wailuku.
Quisenberry granted the second hearing at the request of Pioneer Mill and several ecology groups, which wished to offer additional testimony and rebuttal.
Pioneer Mill asked for permission to release heated water from its power plant at two primary locations in Lahaina. The water temperature varies from 85 to 105 degrees.
The Lahaina locations are designated the Coconut Grove or Kapunakea outfall, an open concrete ditch at the foot of Kapunakea St. in Mala, and the Lahaina Broiler or Papalaua outfall, a pipe about 2000 feet north of the present small boat harbor.
In case of floods, the company also asked permission to release the heated water from Kahoma Stream, Kaulaula Stream and the Launiupoko outfall.
Two discharge points near the mouth of Ukumehame Stream also were asked for the release of cane field drainage water.
Tim Prior, State Environmental Health Specialist, recommended the thermal waste water be taken down the drainage canal from Maui Pioneer Mill to Launiupoko and released. The additional channels could be used for emergencies, he said.
Attorney Mike Cleveland of Life of the Land said the requested permits should be denied. He asked for a study of alternatives such as cooling towers and holding ponds for the heated water.
Glenn Shepherd of Maui Community College, speaking for the University of Hawaii Environmental Center, suggested the permit be granted for only one year while additional environmental studies are made.
John Siemer, Maui Pioneer Mill manager, said he did not believe discharge from any of the seven areas would cause ecological harm.
The Maui Pioneer Mill Co. is installing a device to help cut down on the "rotten egg" smell from its settling pond at Launiupoko, about three miles south of Lahaina.
A chlorinator to inject chlorine gas into the water was expected to be ready for operation this week. The gas will be mixed with the water shortly before it enters the settling pond, and should reduce the potent stench now experienced by motorists driving past Launiupoko.
Several million gallons of mill waste water flow into the settling pond each day. Most of the dirt settles out of the water before it continues into a ditch and out into the ocean.
Pioneer Mill is scheduled to end its discharge of waste water into the ocean by the end of 1974.
Buck Quayle at the Maui Lahaina Sun bureau circa 1970
Reporter/Photographer Buck Quayle in 1971 in Maui with the Cartagenian in the background
Another Day At The Office Haleakala National Park