Hydrogen sulfide released at Puna geothermal plant

A small hydrogen sulfide leak has been reported in Puna, Hawaii.

Ikaika M Hussey

Hawaii Island Civil Defense has posted a notice that hydrogen sulfide has been released from Puna Geothermal Venture. According to a Civil Defense official, a reading of 20-25 parts per billion has been measured at the corner of Leilani and Pohoiki streets. Civil Defense is advising residents to stay indoors if they experience discomfort, or to seek shelter at Pahoa High School. We are unsure how the leak occurred and whether or not it had to do with hurricane Iselle.

20-25 parts per billion (ppb) is well below the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit of 10 parts per million (ppb is less concentrated than parts per million). Continue to monitor the situation. At higher levels the gas can be highly toxic, but for now the concentration is likely to only cause a foul odor and nothing else.