Hawaii Tribune-Herald
Notice #: 0001279991-01
Public Notices

PUBLIC NOTICE OF INTENT TO ISSUE AN UNDERGROUND INJECTION CONTROL CLASS V PERMIT FOR PUNA GEOTHERMAL VENTURE Comment period through July 24, 2020 If you need translation of this public notice, please e-mail Michele Dermer at dermer.michele@epa.gov or call (415) 972-3417. Si habla español y quiere más información sobre este aviso público por favor mande un correo a: Soledad Calvino a calvino.maria@epa.gov o por teléfono (415) 972.3512. PURPOSE OF PUBLIC NOTICE The US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9 (EPA) is providing an opportunity for the public to comment on its proposal to issue a Class V Underground Injection Control (UIC) renewal permit (the Draft Permit) for Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV or the Permittee). PGV owns and operates a geothermal electrical power generating facility at 14-3860 Kapoho-Pahoa Road in Pahoa, Hawai’i (the PGV Facility). The proposed action, to issue the Permit, would authorize for ten years: the continued operation of five existing injection wells at the PGV Facility (Existing Wells); and, the conversion of up to eleven (11) proposed geothermal production wells to injection wells, for the continued operation and development of PGV’s geothermal field to generate electrical power (Proposed Wells). The Existing Wells are currently permitted to inject non-hazardous fluids under an existing EPA UIC permit. The Proposed Wells would be permitted for the conversion of geothermal production wells to injection wells, contingent upon PGV meeting certain conditions of the Permit. Current production wells at the PGV Facility are authorized and regulated by a permit issued by the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). After completing a thorough technical review of all submitted information, EPA has made a preliminary determination that the activities under the Permit are protective of underground sources of drinking water (USDWs), as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). EPA is therefore proposing to issue a Class V Geothermal UIC permit to PGV pending this public notice and comment period. This action is being taken as provided by Part C of the SDWA and pursuant to Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 124, 144, 146, and 147. PUBLIC COMMENTS EPA requests public comment on the Draft Permit and will accept comments in writing through the end of the comment period on July 24, 2020. During this period, please send all written comments to Michele Dermer using the contact information listed below: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9 Groundwater Protection Section (Mail Code: WTR-4-2) 75 Hawthorne Street San Francisco, CA 94105 Attention: Michele Dermer E-mail: dermer.michele@epa.gov Telephone: (415) 972-3417 We encourage electronic submittal of comments to Ms. Dermer at her e-mail address listed above, if possible, however, mailed comments will also be accepted. If you have any questions or require assistance submitting comments, please reach out to Ms. Dermer at the e-mail or phone number listed above. If you need assistance in a language other than English or if you are a person with disabilities who needs a reasonable accommodation at no cost to you, please reach out to Ms. Dermer by e-mail or phone. During the comment period, any interested person may request a public hearing on the Draft Permit (see 40 CFR §124.11 and §124.12). A request for a public hearing shall be in writing, submitted to Ms. Dermer, and shall state the nature of the issues proposed to be raised in the hearing. EPA will schedule a hearing only if there is a significant degree of public interest in the Draft Permit. EPA will provide to the public a 30-day notice of any hearing on this matter. SUPPORTING MATERIALS All data and materials submitted by the applicant are available as part of the administrative record for the Draft Permit. EPA’s fact sheet and the Draft Permit, as well as the permit application prepared by PGV may be accessed online at: https://www.epa.gov/uic/underground-injection-control-permits-region-9. If you are unable to access these materials on the internet, please contact Ms. Dermer at the telephone number or e-mail address listed above. FINAL PERMIT DECISION AND PERMIT APPEAL PROCESS After the close of the public comment period, EPA will consider all comments received, modify the permit, if necessary, and issue a response to the comments with EPA’s final permit decision. The Agency will notify all commenters regarding the decision, which will be to either issue or deny the Permit. If no comments are submitted, EPA’s final decision shall become effective immediately upon signature unless a later date is specified in the notice of final decision. If comments are filed which request a change in the Draft Permit, the final decision shall become effective no sooner than 30 days after the service of the notice of decision. Within 30 days after the final permit decision has been issued, any person who filed comments on the Draft Permit, participated in any public hearing on this matter, or takes issue with any changes in the Draft Permit, may petition the Environmental Appeals Board to review any condition of the permit decision. Commenters are referred to 40 CFR § 124.19 for procedural requirements of the appeal process. EPA is committed to protecting the environment and human health, which includes keeping the public informed and seeking input from the communities we serve. We welcome your comments on the Draft Permit. For any questions and comments please contact Ms. Dermer. (HTH1279991 6/21/20)