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Photos represent similar grass-fed grazing models in New Zealand

December 03, 2016

Statement about Clean Water Lawsuit

Unfortunately, there is an abundance of new misinformation being circulated about Hawaii Dairy Farms, so it is important to take a moment to set the record straight.

Clean Water Act Lawsuit
The Friends of Mahaulepu (FOM) is once again intentionally misrepresenting facts to further its own agenda.
 
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi denied both sides’ motions for summary judgment in the lawsuit against Hawaii Dairy Farms. It is important to note that the court did NOT find that any work done at the farm has caused discharges of pollutants into the waterways. This ruling simply means that there was not enough evidence presented to determine that either party was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
 
The ruling IS confirmation that the judge determined that a jury must decide whether pollutants have entered the waterways. We believe we will prevail at trial because the facts are on our side, as evidenced by the testimony of long-time, Hawaii-based water quality experts.

Hawaii Dairy Farms has always been open that work was being done at the site to prepare the grass for the pasture as a crop and we believed that this was allowed under the agricultural exemption.
 
The Court’s opinion said otherwise, and we respectfully disagree.
 
Media Coverage of Settlement Conference 
You may have also seen a couple of articles published in The Garden Island newspaper this week about the case and our settlement talks with FOM. There are several points we want to correct and make clear:

  • The Department of Health’s Sanitary Survey (Part 1) confirmed that our proposed dairy site was not the source of the high levels of bacteria found in Waiopili ditch.
  • Hawaii Dairy Farms did not widen its ditches in 2014, which FOM falsely claims. 
  • Protecting the environment and public health has always been a top priority for us, and we have gone above and beyond what is required to address community concerns and prove that our pasture-based model is good for Kauai. 

Mahalo for standing by us throughout this endeavor. It is support from our friends and neighbors like you that keeps us focused on what is most important: increasing our state’s food security by bringing fresh local milk to Hawaii’s families.

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