Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, December 1, 2023
EPA Completes Removal of Hazardous Materials Following Wildfires on Maui
By News Release @ 4:59 PM :: 1094 Views :: Maui County, Energy, Environment

EPA Completes Removal of Hazardous Materials Following Wildfires on Maui

EPA’s Phase 1 completion is a major step towards debris removal and the rebuilding of Lāhainā and upcountry communities

News Release from, EPA November 30, 2023

LAHAINA, MAUI – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed its work under Phase 1 of the federal response to the wildfires in Lahaina and upcountry communities on Maui.

“The deadly wildfires on Maui caused catastrophic damage and destruction to homes, businesses, and significant cultural and historic resources,” said EPA Incident Commander Chris Myers. “EPA has been honored to join other federal agencies, the State of Hawaii, the County of Maui, local organizations, and Maui residents and elders to help begin the long road to recovery.”

EPA completed removal of hazardous materials from the fire impacted areas in Lahaina, Kula and Olinda. EPA conducted this work under a mission assignment from FEMA for the Maui wildfire response. Since August 17, EPA and its contractors, half of whom were hired locally, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, and in coordination with the County of Maui, Hawaii Department of Health, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the following:

  • Completed hazardous materials removal from 1,374 residential and 74 commercial properties.
  • Shipped 13 containers containing hazardous materials off Maui for safe disposal.
    • EPA deferred 73 residential and 100 commercial properties to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for hazardous materials removal because physical conditions prevented safe access to the properties.  
  • Removed batteries from 94 electric and hybrid vehicles and decommissioned 274 power walls in homes and businesses. EPA developed cutting edge procedures to de-energize and decommission the batteries for safe shipment and recycling off Maui. Two containers with more than 30 tons of decommissioned battery material were shipped off the island.
  • At the request of the County of Maui, and to increase health and safety of residents, field crews, and the environment, soil stabilizer was applied to properties after hazardous materials were removed to prevent ash from mobilizing into the air or running off into streams and the ocean. Care was taken to avoid applying soil stabilizer to cultural and historic resources and other sensitive areas.
  • The County of Maui and Hawaii Department of Health also requested that EPA set up five air monitoring stations in Lahaina to provide continuous data on fine particulate matter at EPA’s AirNow website. The State can monitor air quality and advise residents in the area.

To observe and protect important cultural resources and practices on Maui, EPA developed and implemented a cultural monitoring program. The program included hiring more than 20 cultural monitors to oversee work in the field; mandatory cultural awareness training for all EPA staff, contractors, and U.S. Coast Guard support personnel; and cultural advising to inform EPA’s community involvement program. Each day, before and after work in the burn zones, a pule, or Hawaiian prayer and blessing, was held with field crews. This cultural monitoring will be continued during the next phase of the cleanup.

The fires also damaged or destroyed underground drinking water and wastewater pipelines and above-ground pumping stations. EPA’s work includes a mission assignment from FEMA to support the County of Maui Departments of Water Supply and Environmental Management to address water infrastructure damaged by the fires. The EPA will continue to provide expertise throughout drinking water and wastewater recovery efforts.

While EPA’s mission to remove household hazardous material from burned properties and lithium-ion batteries from vehicles and power walls is finished, EPA’s work will continue on Maui, coordinating with the County on infrastructure repair and restoration and planning for the sustainable recovery in Lahaina and the fire-impacted areas.

###

CB: EPA Completes Fire-Related Cleanup On Maui

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii