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Release of geothermal steam reported; no evacuation of Puna residents required

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Puna Geothermal Venture reported a release of steam this afternoon from one of its wells, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported.

Hawaii County Fire Battalion Chief Gerald Kosaki said Puna Geothermal monitors on the perimeter of the facility registered at 15.7 parts per billion of hydrogen sulfide, “a very minute amount,” shortly after the release.

Monitors in the community did not detect any of the dangerous gas, he said.

The release occurred at 3 p.m. today, and it was contained and secured by 3:45 p.m.

The Fire Department monitored the air quality at the site, the perimeter and the surrounding community.

Civil Defense spokeswoman Kanani Aton said in an email: “Based on all available data, there is no threat to the public and no evacuation is necessary.”

Civil Defense is monitoring the situation, and will notify the public of any changes.