Community activists sue Big Island dairy over ongoing pollution concerns

Updated: Jun. 28, 2017 at 5:17 PM HST
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OOKALA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Community activists on the Big Island are suing a dairy over ongoing pollution concerns despite previous citations from the state.

Kupale Ookala and the Center for Food Safety sued the Idaho-based company who operates the Ookala dairy on Hawaii Island's northern side.

The complaint cites ongoing concerns that runoff from the dairy polluted nearby communities, and violated the Clean Water Act when animal feces were released into streams and ocean water.

"Our community is standing strong to protect itself from the dairy's pollution and the failure of the state to protect its people," Genard Frazier, member of the community group Kupale Ookala said. "We want to be in the driver's seat so we can hold this polluter accountable and protect our community."

Video previously obtained by Hawaii News Now from an area resident shows what they described as murky, sewage-like water.

Activists say the pollution has been ongoing for the last five years.

The dairy holds over 2,000 cows on 23 acres of land.

Hawaii News Now reached out to Big Island Dairy for comment on the suit and we are waiting to hear back.

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