Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, February 4, 2024
Kauai: Tourism Industry Scores Another Big Win Over Agriculture
By News Release @ 12:45 PM :: 1577 Views :: Kauai County, Environment, Agriculture, Tourism

West Kauaʻi to Address Water Pollution at Kīkīaola Small Boat Harbor in Settlement with Community Groups

The groups reached a settlement with the County of Kauaʻi and Department of Health after filing a lawsuit in 2022 to enforce the Clean Water Act, capping a series of suits to protect West Kaua‘i coastal waters

(TRANSLATION: To prevent tourists from seeing muddy water, West Kauai seed farms will be required to get federal 'NPDES' permits.)

Reality for those who can handle it: Feds Debunk Surfrider's Fake Bacteria Counts

News Release from EarthJustice, Jan 31, 2024

HONOLULU, HAWAIʻI —Community groups Nā Ki‘ai Kai and Surfrider Foundation, represented by Earthjustice, settled with the County of Kauaʻi and the Department of Health to clean up pollution from drainage ditches discharging into the ocean along West Kaua‘i, including the Kīkīaola Small Boat Harbor. In a victory for the community groups last year, a federal judge ruled that discharging pollution into the ocean from the Kīkīaola Harbor Drain violates the Clean Water Act and must be regulated under a permitting program. The settlement agreement sets permitting deadlines and includes measures to protect water quality in the meantime before permits are issued.

This lawsuit follows a 2019 ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai‘i that discharging pollution into the ocean from the Mānā Plain’s drainage ditches, including the Kīkīaola Harbor Drain, requires a federal permit under the Clean Water Act, known as a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. After the ruling, the County of Kauaʻi took over operation and management of the Kīkīaola Harbor Drain from the state Agribusiness Development Corporation and eventually applied for a permit. The Department of Health, which is responsible for the NPDES permitting program in Hawai‘i, refused to process the application and responded that no permit was required, contradicting the court’s order.

The settlement sets deadlines for the Department of Health to issue permits for all of the Mānā Plain’s plantation-era drainage ditches, including the Kīkīaola Harbor Drain. These ditches were built to drain thriving wetland ecosystems for sugar cultivation, but today they siphon millions of gallons per day of polluted runoff from pesticide-heavy seed crops and other industrial uses into the ocean.

The settlement also requires the County of Kaua‘i to take steps to reduce pollution from the Kīkīaola Harbor Drain and regularly test the drainage waters for harmful contaminants such as petroleum products, pesticides, and bacteria. This will help to protect important subsistence fishing grounds, surf breaks, and other recreational areas along West Kauaʻi from contamination that muddies the water, suffocates the reef, and risks the health of ocean users.

“This settlement makes crystal clear that the Department of Health must immediately shift course from fighting us in court to fulfilling its duties to regulate and reduce pollution along Kaua‘i’s Mānā Plain,” said Earthjustice Senior Attorney Kylie Wager Cruz.

“We are pleased that the state and county ultimately came to the table to resolve these issues,” said Dr. Carl Berg, Kaua‘i resident and Senior Scientist for Surfrider Foundation, Kaua‘i Chapter. “These ditches have tested high for many toxic substances including petroleum, bacteria, and pesticides. The public deserves to know about this pollution and to have government commit to taking steps to address it.”

“This agreement is an important step in our years-long battle to ensure that West Kaua‘i nearshore ocean waters support healthy fisheries and are safe for our families to swim, fish, and gather. But, we must remain vigilant and make sure that the permits the Department of Health issues in the future contain strong pollution limits to protect these waters for present and future generations,” said Kawai Warren, a Kekaha resident and member of Nā Kia‘i Kai.

The settlement requires the Department of Health to provide public notice of a draft NPDES permit within a year. Community members will have the opportunity to provide input on the draft permit and request a public hearing.

---30---

TGI: Westside pollution issue settled - The Garden Island

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