Mayor Kenoi to request geothermal health effects study

Published  11:57 AM HST Sep 23, 2013
HILO, Hawaii -

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi plans to implement the recommendations of a panel on geothermal power, including a proposal that the county commission a study on the public health effects of state's only geothermal power plant.

Kenoi told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald public safety and public health is paramount.  He says the county needs to determine what harm, if any, is caused by geothermal power.

The study is among eight steps the group recommended in a report.

The mayor commissioned the report in response to concerns in Puna over existing geothermal development and Hawaii Electric Light Co.'s plans to expand geothermal power.

The report suggests studying how hydrogen sulfide affects health.  Hydrogen sulfide is a gas that may be released into the air when geothermal wells are operated.

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