County suspends home purchase program over lava concerns - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

County suspends home purchase program over lava concerns

Puna Geothermal Venture Puna Geothermal Venture

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Uncertainty over lava flow has prompted Hawaii County to put a hold on a program that allows the planning department to purchase located near a geothermal power plant over health concerns.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the county's planning department instituted a moratorium on the program and may evaluate it during this period.

The Puna Geothermal Venture power plant and neighboring homes have not been directly impacted by the lava flow. But officials say the concern comes if the flow hampers access to the area and if the 38-megawatt plant shuts down if it loses transmission lines.

If that happens, there will be no funding of the geothermal royalties, which are used for purchases.

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