Public Health and Safety Impacts

This page has information and links about public health and safety impacts relating to Tropical Storm Iselle and Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) on August 7th, 2014, and continuing thereafter.

Letter to government leaders about community harm posing this central question: Why was the plant operating when Hawaiian Electric Light Company (HELCO), PGV, and State and County regulators all should have known that operating the plant during a major storm would possibly, in fact probably, lead to an upset?

PGV shut down in anticipation of Ana

Puna Geothermal Venture shut down Friday, October 17th, 2014, in anticipation of Tropical Storm Ana, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.  Big Island Video News; Star Advertiser; PPA Newsletter

If you wish to participate in the documentation of impacts, please send an email with your name and information.

Link to August 30, 2014, podcast about impacts.

Link to videos -- 

Windward Planning Commission -- September 4, 2014

directing county to seek help from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Community meeting with officials -- August 30, 2104

Ed. note: officials refer to the plant operating as designed; the obvious problem is the inability of the plant's design and the regulatory scheme to protect public health and safety.  There was a self-evident failure of the system that allowed a traumatic and tragic emergency to occur.

Geothermal venting caused illness -- August 19, 2014

First descriptions of health impacts -- August 12, 2014

video 1   Mike Hale: "We all go back inside. We make up a bed in the closet, walk-in closet. I'm not even finished making the bed and I'm out...."

video 2   Sofia Wilt:  " I continued to hear that sound, that creepy jumbo jet through the jungle sound, off and on for a while. Then I passed out...."

video 3   Megan Funk:  "We were perplexed by the noise.  Soon after I started feeling bad. Headache came on, my throat got scratchy, I became really just like weird feeling...."

video 4   George Douvris:  "We heard what sounded like this horrendous aircraft noise, maybe around 7, 8:00, I'm not sure... we all started feeling nauseous, smelling some kind of acrid gas. I got very lethargic... very sleepy...."

Map below shows reported health impacts as of early September, 2014 (number of reports still growing)

health impacts map (as of Sept 2014)