April 19, 2024

First Olowalu TDS report shows no environmental impacts, compliance with environmental regulations

The Olowalu Temporary Debris Storage (TDS) site environmental monitoring quarterly report forthe first 90-day operational period shows the findings from sampling and monitoring are in compliance with county, state and federal environmental regulations.

Report highlights include:

  • Over 600 residential and commercial properties have been cleared of over 100,000 tons ofash and debris in Lahaina.
  • Over 7,000 truckloads of ash and debris have been taken from Lahaina to the TDS site in Olowalu.
  • There have been no exceedances of health-based Action Levels in air quality monitoring.
  • There have been no events of any leachate leaving the lined basin, thus no suspected or potential impacts to groundwater or nearby waterways.
  • All stormwater run-off/run-on Best Management Practices(BMPs) are functioning and inspected regularly.
  • Hawai’i Department of Health has reviewed coastal water quality data and confirms that the data show that there are no ash or fire-related chemicals present at levels of human health concern.
  • DOH coastal water quality monitoring will begin this month and include about eight locations from Olowalu to Kaʻanapali.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will install groundwater monitoring wells around the TDS site this month.

The report is available online at www.mauirecovers.org/debris-containment.

On January 21, 2024, the Maui County Council approved Ordinance 5596, also known as Bill 120, which granted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their contractors right-of-entry (ROE) to utilize two parcels located in Olowalu, West Maui, (2) 4-8-003:007, and (2) 4-8-003:Por.of008, as the Temporary Debris Storage site for ash and debris from the Aug. 8 wildfires in Lahaina.

Bill 120 requires that best efforts be used to protect against the runoff of debris or leachate from the TDS site to the ocean, including through run-on and run-off control, groundwater-detection monitoring, air quality monitoring, stormwater-pollution prevention, and maintenance of adequate documentation, record keeping, and transparent public reporting on these efforts.

The data from this sampling and monitoring is publicly available, consistent with chapter 92F, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes. All pertinent information is readily available on the Maui Recovers Debris Containment page: www.mauirecovers.org/debris-containment.

Additionally, as required in Bill 120, the data was presented in a public forum within the first 90-day (quarterly) operational periodthat beganon January 21, 2024, whenthe Council approved the Olowalu ROE, through April 19, 2024.

On April 10, at the County of Maui Disaster Recovery Community Update Meeting, Shayne Agawa, Director of the County Department of Environmental Management, gave a presentation on the Temporary Debris Storage (TDS) environmental monitoring efforts in Olowalu. To view the full presentation from the meeting, visit the County of Maui Facebook page; no account is needed to view the meeting. A copy of the full slide deck can also be accessed on www.mauirecovers.org/debris-containment.

USACE will continue the environmental monitoring, and data will be reported the same ways every 90 days for the duration of this ROE agreement. The second quarterly report will be submitted by July 18, 2024.

Ash and debris from Lahaina will continue to be removed by USACE and taken to the Temporary Debris Storage site in Olowalu, where it will remain until the Permanent Disposal Site (PDS) is constructed.

For more information on debris removal and containment, visit www.mauirecovers.org.

County of Maui Recovery Permit Center

A vital resource for those who are looking to rebuild in fire-affected areas in Lahaina and Kula as they navigate the permitting process and take the next step toward returning home.

County of Maui Service Center
110 Alaihi St., Suite 207

Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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