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Concerned resident alleges BOE ignored public input on Kahuku turbines built near schools

Another battle tied to the controversial Na Pua Makani turbines in Kahuku: one resident has filed a lawsuit against the Board of Education.

During a virtual court hearing this morning, Sunny Unga alleged the BOE held secret meetings and ignored public input before commenting on an environmental impact statement for the construction of windmills near Kahuku Elementary School.

Two of Unga’s three children are students there –and she fears the constant noise will impact their learning.

“It should not be built this close to schools and residential homes,” Unga said.

“They’ve been testing them for the past week, and we’re starting to hear the noise and they’re not in full operation.”

Unga filed the lawsuit back in April.

“And only late in the afternoon yesterday they tried to negotiate something. And this is, late in the hours, the day before the hearing.”

During the hearing, Deputy Attorney General Ryan Roylo announced the Attorney General’s office is making a sweeping policy change – calling on all boards and commissions to follow the Hawai’i “Sunshine Law” – and hold open meetings.

The BOE was previously exempt from the law.

“It’s going to require more than a he said, she said, that the attorney general said something, for that to happen because the rule is still on the books and if there’s nothing in writing, there’s nothing that can stop somebody from changing their mind tomorrow,” Unga’s attorney Lance Collins said.

According to AES, the developer of the Na Pua Makani wind farm, the company held multiple meetings for the public to provide input on the project.

KITV reached out to the BOE for comment and did not receive a response.