Three locations – two in West Maui and one in Central Maui – are being considered as the Permanent Disposal Site (PDS) for Lahaina ash and debris from the August wildfires, and the County of Maui is asking Maui residents to participate in a community survey that will help guide selection for the final site.
Wahikuli area in Lahaina, Crater Village in Lahaina and Central Maui Landfill in Puʻunene are the three sites undergoing evaluations for permanent storage of ash and debris.
Currently, debris and ash are being stored at a temporary debris storage site in Olowalu. In response to community concerns, Mayor Bissen has committed to not using Olowalu for a permanent disposal site. Debris and ash from the temporary storage site will be removed from Olowalu once a permanent site is selected and built.
Maui residents are asked to visit www.mauirecovers.org/feedback to participate in the survey, which closes Feb. 15. Results will be shared Feb. 21. The targeted date for PDS selection is March 1, 2024.
Input from the community survey as part of the County’s Maui Recovers efforts will help guide the County with making the final selection.
An initial eight locations have been narrowed to three based on criteria including: time to acquire land; proximity to Lahaina (traffic congestion, public safety); access into and out of site (alternative access, turn movements); constructability; surface water management; adjacent property impacts; distance to drinking water; distance to residential areas, schools, hospitals; natural/environmental concerns. Initial public response to priorities, such as historic preservation; cultural sensitivity; distance to coastline; and prevailing winds were also considerations.
Residents needing assistance in taking the survey can see County staff at the Lahaina Disaster Resource Center (DRC) in the Lahaina Civic Center. The County’s community planning team will be available in the DRC from Tuesdays to Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The survey is also available at the Kākoʻo Maui Resource Hub in the Maui Mall, operated by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.
The County has contracted with Anthology Research, a professional market research firm in Hawaii, to conduct random samplings of the survey by phone and email. All responses are strictly confidential, with no identifying information shared.
“The selection of a final debris site impacts all of us, and the County of Maui is committed to a safe, thorough and swift decision,” Mayor Richard Bissen said. “Mahalo to the community, as well as to our county, state and federal partners, along with our consultants, who have spent countless hours assessing locations for permanent debris storage. This decision will mark a key milestone in getting Lahaina owners back to their properties.”
At the County’s most recent weekly Lahaina community update meeting on January 31, attended by close to 200 residents at the Lahaina Civic Center, Shayne Agawa, director of the County’s Department of Environmental Management, offered a presentation on the location options. To view the full presentation from the January 31st community meeting, visit the County of Maui Facebook page; no account is needed to view the meeting.