Big Island dairy that spilled millions of gallons of raw sewage faces big fines

Embattled Big Island dairy faces $91K fine

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is seeking $91,000 in fines against embattled Big Island Dairy for massive wastewater spills this spring.

The state said the Ookala dairy farm — whose owners announced they were selling off operations and leaving the state — spilled more than 2.1 million gallons of sewage from their cow manure ponds between April 13 and May 7.

Since the May spill, the dairy had an even larger spill — more than 5.8 million gallons — in August. But the state said the company probably won’t be fined for that spill because it happened during Hurricane Lane.

“There was a tremendous amount of pollution. ... It went straight into the gulches and out into the ocean,” said Charlie Tebbutt, an attorney for several Ookala residents who sued.

The state said that the Big Island Diary spilled nearly 6 million gallons of waste water on Aug. 23 and Aug. 25
The state said that the Big Island Diary spilled nearly 6 million gallons of waste water on Aug. 23 and Aug. 25

“It will kill just about everything in its reach for some period of time.”

The fine comes after the Health Department ordered the company to pay $25,000 last year for dumping animal waste into its fields.

Company officials could not be reached for comment.

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