Waialua, North Shore of O'ahu - An inspection conducted by the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) revealed concerns regarding Waialua Fresh Egg Farm's operations and its failure to adequately address its 10 tons of waste generated daily.
Waialua Fresh Egg Farm, also known as Villa Rose Egg Farm, is owned and operated by mainland corporations Hidden Villa and Rose Acres Farms. The 200,000 chicken layer facility, situated in the O'ahu North Shore watershed, has misled the public about its waste management procedures. Despite obtaining permits from the County and DOH, Villa Rose misrepresented its operations by claiming it would implement a biochar system to handle the approximately 10 tons of manure waste produced each day. However, it has been revealed that the biochar system is not functioning as planned, if at all. Instead, the waste has been stockpiled in vacant barns on the property for over two years.
"Without a manure management plan, Villa Rose should not be allowed to operate," stated Sylvia Wu, senior attorney at Center for Food Safety. "The State must take immediate action to address this issue before it turns into yet another potential environmental disaster."
Further exacerbating the situation, Villa Rose has plans to expand their operations to 1,000,000 laying hens, with intentions to export to the mainland and Asia. No state agency has assessed the impact of such an expansion on Hawaii's ability to meet the Zero Emissions Target for greenhouse gases, which was passed into law in 2018 (HRS § 225P-5).
"The lack of a comprehensive manure plan and the neglect of emissions targets poses a major pollution threat to Hawaii's invaluable water resources while turning a blind eye to the Farm's impacts on climate change. This exemplifies a blatant disregard for the well-being of Hawaii's residents," commented Wu.
After the closures of Big Island Dairy in 2018 and Hawaii Dairy Farms on Kaua'i in 2019 due to Clean Water Act violations, it has been shown that large factory farms are simply incompatible with the delicate island ecosystems of Hawai'i. A bill to place a moratorium on large factory farms, known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), was introduced in the Hawai'i legislature this year and considered by the Senate Agriculture committee. While it did not pass, such a moratorium would only affect Waialua Fresh Egg Farm, as it is the only operation in the state that qualifies as a large CAFO.
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