Hawaii agriculture director pulls offer to fund farm's tests

Hawaii agriculture director pulls offer to fund farm's tests

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii Department of Agriculture's director has pulled an offer to help pay for environmental quality tests near a Big Island dairy farm that's accused of polluting gulches.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Thursday that Director Scott Enright had told residents last March that he would use his contingency funds to support follow-up inspections or additional soil and water tests following complaints. But he has backed away from that offer, citing a lawsuit filed by a group of residents that accuses Big Island Dairy of violating the federal Clean Water Act.

Enright said that decision was based on advice from state attorneys and that he thinks those tests will be done as part of the lawsuit anyway.

The department leases state land to the dairy.

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