LIHUE — Hawaii Dairy Farms will be coughing up than half a million dollars for attorney fees and court costs, according to a Monday deci- sion by a Hawaii District Court.
In a 71-page order, Judge Kenneth Mansfield awarded $506,328 in attorney fees, expert-witness fees, and costs to Friends of Mahaulepu.
“We welcome the award. It validates that the case we brought had merit,” said Bridget Hammerquist of FOM.
She continued: “Fortunately, Congress recognized that, at times citizens in a community may be forced to file a Clean Water Act vio- lation lawsuit. The award of litigation fees and costs underscores the law’s intent to protect the environment.”
Amy Hennessey, spokeswoman for HDF said the organization is “obviously disappointed in the ruling,” but will abide by the court’s decision.
“At the same time, we remain committed to working toward the goal of increasing local food production,” Hennessey said.
The award followed a consent judgment order entered in May by federal Judge Leslie Kobayashi in a Clean Water Act violation case between HDF and FOM.
The case was filed because HDF began construction of the planned 557-acre dairy without having the necessary permits — specifically a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.