Molokai Mom on a Mission: Fugitive Dust Storm
Opinion by Mercy Ritte
Friday, Nov. 9th at 12:46 p.m. marked the largest, most disturbing, fugitive dust “storm” ever seen in Ho`olehua. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fugitive dust is dust generated from open sources such as unpaved roads and agricultural tilling operations.
On this particular day, the prevailing trades had picked up, blowing over Monsanto’s recently disturbed and exposed land, lifting massive amounts of dust into the air and sending it miles and miles across the landscape, beginning from the Kualapu`u reservoir to Mahana stretch near the airport. I had never seen anything like it before. Other witnesses have expressed utter shock and described the dust as being very dense.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS), it is known that fugitive dust can impact the environment and cause health effects such as loss of valuable topsoil, health problems in livestock, vehicle accidents due to reduced visibility, respiratory problems, and cardiovascular conditions.
If you have also witnessed this occurance or simliar ones such as “dust devils,” document it in photo, video, and/or writing. Rememeber to include the date and time it was seen. Then, as I have done, immediately contact the following agencies to voice your concerns:
Environmental Health Specialist, Blake Shiigi, at the Department of Health Clean Air Branch on Maui: firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 984-8234.
Enforcement Inspector, Lester Chin, at the Department of Agriculture: email@example.com or (808) 873-3557.
GMO Free Recipe:Coconut Corn Chowder
5 cups diced organic potatoes (available at Outpost Natural Foods Store)
1 cup diced organic onion (Outpost)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups water
4 cups organic frozen or can corn (Outpost)
½ tsp dill weed
1 cup organic coconut milk (available at Friendly Market )
1. Place potatoes, onions and seasonings (except dill weed) in a pot with water and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.
2. Remove 2 cups of the cooked potatoes with a slotted spoon and place in a blender. Add corn and dill weed to the pot of soup. Turn off the heat and stir.
3. Add coconut milk to the blender with cooked potatoes. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth but not starchy.
4. Add blended mixture to the soup. May add more water or salt as needed to taste.