April 8, 2024

County of Maui response to Komar Maui Properties offer to donate five acres for Central Maui Landfill

"We are greatly appreciative of Komar Maui Properties’ announcement to donate five acres; however, our long-term landfill plan requires the full 20 acres for an MSW landfill for our residents," said Mayor Richard Bissen. “The County remains willing to pay the appraised value to acquire this parcel to address the need of the people of Lahaina and the long-term need of our residents.”

“Komar’s intent to provide a donation of five acres of the 20 acres in Pulehu comes as the County is in the process of taking eminent domain action. It's a contribution that recognizes that moving forward with a much-needed permanent disposal site is critical,” Mayor Bissen said.

The pursuit of the 20-acre parcel has been part of expansion plans to develop the Central Maui Landfill (CML) for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), and the urgent need for a Permanent Disposal Site certainly accelerated negotiations that concluded with eminent domain action taken by the Maui County Council last Friday.

While Komar has proposed a privately owned and operated landfill on 15 of the 20 acres, the County will proceed with the best long-term plan for its residents.

“While the donation of five acres is welcomed, it was the County's plan to utilize 8-10 acres for Lahaina debris and ash,” said Department of Environmental Management Director Shayne Agawa. “Our plan requires more acreage to ensure that the height of the ash remains lower than the elevation of Pulehu Road. If we placed all the debris in five acres, it would create a mountain that would expose the ash to the elements, and pose a potential risk to public safety.”

Director Agawa explained that if Komar intends to utilize the full 15 acres for a private landfill, they would need a right of access through the Central Maui Landfill, which would pose considerable liability and operational issues.

The County will be proceeding under the provisions granted by the Governor's Emergency Proclamation to expedite the development of the Permanent Disposal Site (PDS); these emergency provisions are not transferable to private companies.

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