Edited News Release from Puna Geothermal Venture

Real Information edited from Puna Geothermal Venture

Aug 14, 2014 01:34 PM
Edited Aug 21 2014 9 PM
(The following is a edited news release from Puna Geothermal Venture)

The night of Tropical Storm Iselle, Puna Geothermal Venture’s huge mega unstoppable power station on Hawaii Island overheated and abruptly blew caustic poisonous gas. There was an uncontrolled release or spill at the facility. Contrary to some initial reports by corporate yes men, it WAS dangerous and required evacuation. We refuse to give any evacuation order and won’t give civil defense any useful information about spills for at least 45 min.

To prepare for the storm, PGV staff reviewed emergency procedures which are designed to protect the resouce in the event of bad weather. PGV increased night shift crews to a whopping 7 people through the storm. We also reduced the plant output a whopping 25% in preparation of a hurricane. We do have contractual obligations to HELCO and we were under pressure to perform for them.

At about 7:30 p.m. Actually 7:26 but we’ll minimize the event wherever we can, Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) lost both transmission lines that PGV connects to in order to transmit power to the electrical grid. (Therefore please blame HELCO)
With the loss of the transmission lines, the plant shutdown as designed so that it turn into a giant plasma explosion or unstoppable ever expanding sinkhole.

By design and following approved procedures, steam was uncontrollably released through the emergency steam release facility. That steam was PARTIALLY abated, that is, caustic soda (another poison) and water were added to the steam of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This was done according to regulatory procedures which is all we legally have to do, per the approved emergency response plan, given the mayor vetoed any other plan and hasn’t written another as he promised. This process is part of PGV Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) air permit requirements. We believe if we mention the department of heath here it will sound like they approve it. And seeing as they don’t disapprove then we will assume we all are agreed and it is safe and healthy. Hawaii state and County do not have sufficient regulation for this industry because they are inexperienced and newcomers in the field. Ormat (experts in the field) are poised to capitalize on their inexperience.

The bulk of the steam was released within the first ten minutes. All residual energy (the pressure) of the steam system was released from the wells completely within approximately 45 minutes. After that we tried to completely shut in the system but still couldn’t. A relief valve malfunction resulted in an additional flow of potentially deadly steam released for longer until we could find it approximately 15 minutes later. We would like to draw attention to this valve so we can blame someone else if this episode goes bad (to litigation) This hydrogen sulfide was completely Un- scrubbed meaning we could not follow the proscribed laws to release only 5% of any HS2. That’s right, we were able to release 100% of hydrogen sulfide steam from that valve. Which was slightly not as huge as the first one. We were able to let that one release for at least 1 hour 45 minute again unabated.

During the early part of the steam release, there was a sulfur smell. A PGV employee monitored levels at one spot and had a peak reading of 25 parts per billion. Coincidentally, The DOH regulation requires that we not exceed 25 parts per billion (ppb) on an hourly average. The 25 ppb reading was at one location luckily we could not test any others we were too busy dealing with the storm and steam release. We have no idea what the other 359 directions read nor do we know what it was any higher elevation than what we could reach (Nor do we want to know). This measuring technique is not unapproved by the DOH therefore we did everything right.

Based on the one- handed end of the driveway air monitoring during the shutdown, emission detection remained below permitted detected levels and therefore, there was never any danger of violating any environmental limits. We never notified anyone to evacuate nor is it our job or responsibility to, but Hawaii County Civil Defense alerted residents that they should evacuate voluntarily if they were still alive, not passed out or trapped by fallen trees and big IF they got a notification.

To put this into perspective, it is important to note that OSHA standards allow workers to be voluntarily poisoned in an area with 10 parts per million, or 10,000 parts per billion.

The plant has remained offline since the storm and PGV began scheduled maintenance work on Monday, August 11; this scheduled maintenance had been planned with HELCO a year ago.
During this time we can take advantage of all the normal monitors being offline and clean out all the bad stuff undetected and Un- provable. We anticipate restarting the plant as early as Friday, August 15 historiccally we have a tendency to also leak during these start-up procedures and this process could take a week or longer.

The scheduled maintenance includes routine inspections, equipment overhauls, mechanical and electrical repairs and testing. We wanted to wait until after the storm to go offline and make these repairs because if anything happens we can call it an act of god.

PGV pays off a lot of people with wages fees and contracts and will do anything to continue making money for Ormat and their stockholders.

PGV would like to tell you it is good for the community and will do anything to stay in business here.

What it means to shut in wells
If we explain something highly technical here we believe you will think we are responsible and smart.

The pressure and flow control valves automatically shut, through computer programming overseen with human interface. This stops the flow from the geothermal resource to the generators that produce power.

Air quality data collection

Have you noticed some local bloggers are quiet about this event and some even are sponsored by Ormat.
Things that make you go hmmm?

Health effects

Falsified press release

Falsified Press release makes state wide news

EPA violations

Civil defense evacuation alert

PVG dictates to media

Hilo Tribune attempts to be unbiased but only has PGV press release to work with :

As I read this over, there are some blatant lies..
I’ve heard ( from S.-my machinist buddy that worked there 12 years)
that they can generate GIGA and TERRA WATTS when they want to….
or when the Navy tells them to…

Also noticed a new Mystery installation
on Green Mt. Today during ride to beach/playground..same kinda antenna with the weird ball(s) on it, and a square squat building sticking out of the peak…new H Volt lines running out thru the Papaya fields.

Incl. is Staff Writer Contact should you want to contact6 him directly…

Tribune-Herald staff writer
While Tropical Storm Iselle apparently didn’t cause any serious injuries, some lower Puna residents think the same cannot be said for the steam release that occurred at Puna Geothermal Venture while they were hunkering down for Iselle’s arrival.

The release, which included hydrogen sulfide, occurred the evening of Aug. 7 when the 38-megawatt plant was cut off from transmission lines and shut down.

PGV said the release is necessary to relieve pressure in the system, but it also occurred while nearby residents were effectively trapped in their homes as fallen trees blocked roadways in and out of their neighborhoods.

Blocked roadways also prevented the Fire Department’s hazmat team from reaching the site to take hydrogen sulfide readings and stationary monitors were offline because of the power outage.

PGV said its staff took readings as high as 39 parts per billion with hand-held monitors at the site and 25 ppb along the fence line. Its air permit limits the fence line readings at 25 ppb on an average hourly basis.

The gas becomes immediately dangerous to health at 100 parts per million (100,000 ppb), according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Lower levels can irritate eyes and lungs, and OSHA limits workplace exposure to 20 ppm (20,000 ppb).

Mike Kaleikini, PGV senior director of Hawaiian affairs, said the seven staff present at the plant during the incident didn’t report experiencing health impacts as a result of the release.

But several neighbors reported experiencing health effects during and after the incident, including scratchy throats, rashes, headaches and even falling unconscious, according to Puna Pono Alliance, which is collecting video testimony from those who say they were impacted.

Tom Travis, vice president of the group, said about 15 have provided testimony so far.

One of those, Michael Hale, said he experienced each of the reported symptoms and smelled a strong rotten egg odor associated with hydrogen sulfide.

“Immediately upon smelling it, we started getting scratchy throats and headaches,” he said.

Hale said he and his girlfriend tried to leave after feeling ill but were unable to because of blocked roadways. After they returned to their Leilani Estates home, within a mile of the plant, he said he “passed out” for nearly 12 hours. Attempts by his girlfriend to wake him were unsuccessful, Hale said.

“She said I looked dead that night,” he said. “My eyes were puffy and red, and I wasn’t waking up.”

It’s not clear yet how much hydrogen sulfide was released.

Kaleikini said the plant was calculating that figure for the state Department of Health. He said he thought it was less than a similar incident that occurred at the plant in March 2013.

When such releases occur, the plant uses abatement measures that reduce the level of hydrogen sulfide by between 95 and 99 percent, he said.

“The steam release facility is designed specifically to respond to a situation such as this,” Kaleikini said. “Our guys responded per all our procedures and did a tremendous job responding, especially given the weather conditions.”

In addition to the controlled release, a smaller 6-inch pressure release valve that is not abated also released steam and got stuck open for about one hour and 45 minutes, he said.

The state Department of Health couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, but Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said the agency has someone on the island to monitor the plant as it restarts.

Kaleikini said the plant began to ramp up production Monday.

With the concentration unclear, Oliveira said it was difficult to say if unsafe conditions were generated, despite the testimony from neighbors.

“We can’t say how far any release spread,” he said.

Wind speeds were in excess of 40 miles per hour in the area at the time, Oliveira said.

Hale said he has seen a doctor several times since the release. He said tests have come up negative for other potential causes and the tests are not designed to assess hydrogen sulfide exposure.

“There’s no way to test specifically for this poisoning,” he said he was told. “They can only verify these are the symptoms related to (gas exposure).”

In response to the incident, Oliveira said he has requested PGV speak with Hawaii Electric Light Co. about coordinating a plant shutdown prior to the arrival of another strong storm

. Civil Defense provided the plant with generators to keep monitors running during power outages, he said.

( WHATTT- !! ?? E)

( Musta Choppered ’em in !! – E)

Civil Defense also is in the process of adding more monitors to the area and providing hand-held devices for a couple of neighbors to use. Additionally, the county is planning to conduct a geothermal health study to assess impacts from the plant.

Travis, a retired naval officer, was also part of a geothermal study group that recommended a health assessment occur.

He said the Puna Pono Alliance, which has been critical of geothermal development, is hoping the video testimony will lead to more action to address the community’s safety concerns.

“Our effort from the very beginning has been to educate people, to try to improve the regulatory structure and get a health study,” Travis said. “Our documentation is going to be used to strengthen both of those efforts.”

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

– See more at: http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/pgv-incident-renews-geothermal-fears#sthash.8nccovuB.dpuf

Public monitor site is unavailable

Finally an unbiased news story (local only)

If your health was affected by the “Blow Out” of poison steam please add your data to the form at http://www.hawaiirock.com

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