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EBay’s Founder Has a New Idea: Build a Dairy in Hawaii

“We are concerned with odors and flies from the dairy,” said Lisa Munger, a lawyer who represents the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, which successfully sued to force the dairy to do an environmental assessement. “Each dairy cow will produce 90.8 pounds of manure per day — whether there are 699 cows or 2,000 cows, that is a lot of manure.”


Pierre Omidyar

Michael Lewis

Ms. Munger said biting flies can reach the Grand Hyatt, along with “offensive dairy odors.”


Opponents of the Hawaii Dairy drive around with bumper stickers — “No Moo Poo in Maha’ulepu,” as the area of the island where the dairy would go is known — summarizing their main cause of concern: that animal waste could contaminate drinking water or the oceanfront and cause unpleasant smells. “We’re all for local agriculture, but why put a dairy there?” said Bridget Hammerquist, a lawyer and the president of Friends of Maha’ulepu, a nonprofit set up to fight the dairy. “It’s a serious threat to Kauai’s biggest source of revenue, tourism, to the environment and to our quality of life.”

So far, courts have sided with opponents of the dairy. In a case brought by the Friends group, contending that the dairy would violate the federal Clean Water Act, a judge ruled that it had violated the law by failing to get the permits it needed for the construction it had already done on the site.

Another lawsuit, brought by the owners of the Grand Hyatt, contended the dairy would have a negative effect on businesses and resorts along the coast. This year, Judge Randal G. B. Valenciano revoked all permits that had been granted to Hawaii Dairy Farms and ordered it to complete an environmental assessment before going further.

Amy Hennessey, director of communications at the Ulupono Initiative, Mr. Omidyar’s investment office in Hawaii, said those decisions were a…

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