Health Department hears water quality concerns

As the state Department of Health works on the first update to its water quality plan since 1990, most people commenting during a public meeting Tuesday were concerned about a single aspect of the multifaceted plan — the impact of wastewater on water quality and what should be done about it.

Community bulletin

Chemical odor prompts school evacuations in Honokaa

Students at Honokaa Elementary and Honokaa High & Intermediate were sent home at around 10:45 a.m. today due to a strong chemical odor that affected about 50 people at the High & Intermediate school. According to hazardous materials investigators, the odor was traced to a nearby resident who was using a mix of chemicals to spray his yard.

EPA orders county to fix wastewater pipe

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Hawaii County to repair the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant’s ocean outfall pipe. The pipe is leaking treated wastewater close to shore, posing a potential risk to the marine environment and public health, EPA officials said.

Tips offered to help downed seabirds

Every year from September to December, seabird chicks throughout Hawaii leave their nests and make their first nocturnal flight from their nesting burrow to the sea. Guided by moonlight, the lights from cities, towns and homes can confuse these young birds — and even some adults — and cause them to fall inland rather than continue out to the ocean.

Local News

USGS develops pedestrian tsunami evacuation tool

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a new mapping tool, the Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst, for use by researchers and emergency managers to estimate how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a tsunami-hazard zone. The geographic information systems software extension, released this week, allows the user to create maps showing travel times out of hazard zones and determine the number of people who may or may not have enough time to evacuate. The maps take into account elevation changes and the different types of land cover a person would encounter along the way.

EPA orders county to fix wastewater pipe

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Hawaii County to repair the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant’s ocean outfall pipe. The pipe is leaking treated wastewater close to shore, posing a potential risk to the marine environment and public health, EPA officials said.

Sports

Local Features

Island Life | 9-17-14

Fishing charter boats are seen off Ooma at daybreak. James Grenz/Community Contributor

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