Hawaiian Residents Successfully Shut Down 2,000-Acre Dairy Farm

The 1,800-cow dairy farm is closing after discharging millions of gallons of urine and feces into local waterways in Ookala for years. 


Large-scale dairy farm Big Island Dairy announced it will cease operations after battling a longstanding lawsuit filed by community activists in Ookala, where the 2,000-acre farm continually polluted local water and air. In May, the 1,800-cow dairy farm discharged 2.3 million gallons of liquid waste into local waterways with a further 5.6 million gallons of waste discharged in August—for which the Department of Health fined the farm $25,000. “This was a difficult decision for Big Island Dairy,” the farm’s attorney David Claiborne said. “But it has reached a point that it lacks the additional resources needed to continue the operation under current economic and regulatory conditions.” While Big Island Dairy is looking for a buyer that would continue the operation, it has announced that milking cows will be removed from the property by February.  

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