KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - The University of Hawaii is backing out of geothermal research projects on Hualalai while a lawsuit brought by groups opposing the exploration remains pending.
West Hawaii Today reports the university is asking the state to cancel the exploration permits it received last year to conduct a geothermal survey of 19 parcels of agricultural land. A request submitted to the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources cites funding troubles and loss of staff.
The state had approved two exploration permits for the university without requiring environmental assessments for the project.
The Pele Defense Fund is one of the groups that sued the state last year for allowing the project to move forward without the assessments. The groups claimed the survey would impact the culture and nature of Hualalai.