Kenoi burys geothermal bills
A pair of bills relating to geothermal energy have died on Mayor Billy Kenoi’s desk, unless the County Council can engineer an override of the veto.
One bill would have required the county Civil Defense Agency to prepare an emergency response and evacuation plan for geothermal facilities and to submit it to the County Council for approval by Aug. 1. The bill is aimed at people living near Puna Geothermal Venture.
Kenoi’s veto message for the Civil Defense bill states that first responders already have a plan for all emergency situations, including geothermal, based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency-developed incident command system.
Council Chairman Dominic Yagong, who introduced both bills, said he was disappointed with the mayor’s action.
The other vetoed bill, which would affect people in lower Puna, would have renamed the Geothermal Relocation and Community Benefits Program to the Geothermal Relocation and Public Safety Program, although it’s popularly known as the “geothermal royalties” fund.