A North Shore citizens group led by Hawaii Sen. Gil Riviere said on Friday that it plans to sue the developers of a major wind farm project being built in Kahuku.
Keep the North Shore Country announced it gave a 40-day notice to the wind farm, Na Pua Makani, and its owner, the AES Corp. The group alleges the project failed to obtain an environmental review after it added five additional parcels of land to its plans. Those parcels were not part of the project’s 2016 environmental impact statement, the group said in a news release.
Sen. Gil Riviere has joined his constituents on Oahu to fight against a wind farm under construction in Kahuku.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
The organization also took issue with the installation of a guard and security structure, road gate and “significant” fencing along the state-owned Kahuku agricultural park – elements that were “never contemplated or considered by any environmental review process,” the group said.
“As AES keeps saying they have obtained all government approvals, but yet again, we find another corner has been cut and they continue their operations without all the necessary reviews or approvals,” said Riviere, president of Keep the North Shore Country.
The law allows companies to “cure all violations or permits” within 40 days or Keep the North Shore Country will file suit, the release said.
“It’s not fair to the honest local businesses who follow the rules that these out-of-town outfits with deep pockets can roll in and get special treatment and pick and choose which laws to follow and when,” said Lance Collins, an attorney who represents Keep the North Shore Country and another group, Life of the Land, which has a pending complaint challenging the wind farm’s power purchase agreement. That complaint is scheduled to be addressed at a Public Utilities Commission meeting on Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m.
“We are reviewing the letter from the Keep the North Shore Country’s attorney and will respond in due course,” said Mark Miller, Chief Operating Officer for the AES US Generation businesses, in a statement. “After performing extensive studies and securing all of the necessary permits, we are confident that we are building a project that is safe and, ultimately, will help advance Hawaii’s transition to 100% renewable energy.”
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.
Support local journalism
Studies have shown that when local journalism disappears, government financing costs go up, fewer people run for public office, elected officials become less responsive to their constituents, and voter turnout decreases. Our small nonprofit newsroom works hard every day to present local news in a deep and transparent way, without fear or favor. We also rely on donations from readers like you to keep us afloat. The more support we receive; the stronger, more sustainable our journalism becomes; the more accountable we are to you. Please consider supporting our Honolulu Civil Beat with a tax-deductible gift.