Need for GMO effluent monitoring

SOURCE: Kenneth Schwartz (
SUBHEAD: GMO companies seek to avoid reports on dumping of GMO effluent into Pacific Ocean.

By Juan Wilson on 16 August 2015 in Island Breath -
Image above: USGS Mana Quadrangle Map from 1910 showing the healthy wetlands now occupied by the GMO chemical companies along with the military and defense contractors. From (

This morning I received an email from Kenneth Schwartz concerning GMO companies (Dow, Syngenta, BASF, DuPont) trying to avoid the reporting on their field effluents going into into the Pacific Ocean.

It should be remembered that after 911 the US Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility reduced public access and expanded its leased area and responsibilities on the Mana Plain. That included taking over the the control of the pumps that control the ditches taking water off the Mana Plain fields.

Ken includes a recent letter (PDF) from Gary Hooser objecting to the ADC getting any exemption to the EPA-required permit requirements of environmental reports. Ken's email text follows:
Aloha Juan,

I’m sure you may know of this since you have your finger constantly on the pulse of Kauai. But I thought I’d forward anyway.

It appears our eco friendly (Ha!) The ADC, the land manager for State agricultural lands, is seeking to be "exempt" from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements.

Their primary tenants on the land are the four large agrochemical companies. They are seeking to be exempt from reporting outfalls on the Mana Plain from the Kawai'eli and Nohili pump stations which deposit directly into the Pacific at above Majors Bay and at Polihale. Councilman Hooser has responded but still needs our help. Read on...

By the way - oddly enough, it appears there was no outfalls reported between Aug. 2014 and July 2015. Hardly seems believable.


September 9, 2015

Virginia Pressler, M.D., Director of Health
Office of the Director of Health
1250 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813
and via E-mail: (

Dear Director Pressler:

This is to strongly object to the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) being exempt from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ( NPDES) permit requirements on Kaua`i, and to request in writing the procedure upon which I may initiate a contested case hearing or other manner of formally objecting to this exemption.

Given that:

1. The ADC has been operating under a former Kekaha Sugar Company NPDES permit for many years.

2. The ADC manages lands that contain several " ditches" that are effectively pipes that drain water off ofADC lands and into nearshore ocean waters.

3. The water contained within the ditch system is fed by water from numerous sources including the runoff and discharge into the ditches from various nonagricultural industrial operations and from several large agrochemical companies that are conducting research and operations involving intensive application of large amounts of both General Use and Restricted Use Pesticides.

4. The quality of the water in the ditches and the types of pollutants it contains have never been thoroughly evaluated and tested.

5. Many of the pesticides and other chemicals used by the tenants of the ADC are proven to harm aquatic life.

6. The tenants of the ADC use large quantities of water during their pre-pesticide mixing and post-application clean-up process, and the disposal via ground seepage and/or long-term storage of the resulting contaminated water has not been evaluated.

7. The ADC's own memorandum dated July 22, 2015 ( See Attached) states their internal concerns about the quality of their discharge by stating about the NPDES requirements: "these new water quality standards would likely be extremely difficult to meet, particularly at approval[.]"
The same memorandum further states the new standards include more stringent requirements re: " discharge limits for priority pollutants such as pesticides and herbicides, and the fact that the receiving waters would be various ditches (and not the ocean as under the existing permit)[.]"

For these reasons and many others, I hereby formally object to the ADC being ranted any exemption to the EPA-required NPDES permit requirements and by copy of this letter notify all parties of my intent to file for a contested case hearing or other judicial review as may be appropriate and required.

The courtesy of a reply no later than close of business September 19, 2015 providing me with information as to the appropriate process by which to further file and pursue my objections would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your careful consideration of this matter in the interest of public trust. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or the Office of the County Clerk, Council Services Division at (808)- 241- 4188.

Councilmember, Kauai County Council

cc: Darryl Lum, Engineering Section Supervisor, State of Hawai`i Department of Health

Andrew Sawyers, Director, U.S. EPA, Office of Wastewater Management

Benita Best-Wong, Director, U.S. EPA, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds

Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA, Pacific Southwest, Region 9
For PDF file of Gary's letter see (

Also as a reference, below are the two Discharge Monitoring Reports (DRMs) from late 2014 and early 2015. See (DMR2nd2014) and (DMR1st2015).


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