County Office of Recovery shares updates on sewer line, drinking water inspections, deferred properties : Maui Now

The Maui County Redevelopment Office shared several updates with residents, including progress on setback properties and sewer and water line inspections, as well as two new community engagement events. The information was shared at the County Disaster Recovery Community Update meeting on Wednesday evening, March 13, at the Lahaina Civic Center.

Deferred properties

Col. Eric Swenson of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. PC: County of Maui

As of Wednesday, the Corps had cleared debris from 306 properties in about 60 days, accounting for a little less than 20% of the total properties, Col. Eric Swenson of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers informed meeting attendees. Of the cleared properties, 60 entry rights were returned to the county, marking the completion of USACE work in these areas. USACE has 21 teams working to clear residential properties. Commercial property eviction statistics will be released as more data becomes available next week.

Swenson also announced that USACE will begin processing the 173 properties that were put on hold after the Environmental Protection Agency was unable to clean up household hazardous materials during its Phase 1 operation due to hazards on the properties. For owners of deferred properties who have not filed ROEs, their properties will remain on hold for an indefinite period of time. For properties with ROEs, USACE identifies and eliminates hazards under Phase 1 and then calls owners to ask if they would like to participate in reentry.

If owners are not interested in having their properties inspected, USACE will schedule an appointment for debris removal. Contractors will notify owners three days prior to the start of property clearance and will contact again 24 hours prior to entry to give owners an opportunity to be present when debris is removed. Any personal items found during eviction will be secured by USACE and returned to the owner. For more information about the county-sponsored ROE process, residents can call the USACE hotline at 877-214-9117.

Sewer and water pipe inspections

PC: County of Maui

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EPA Incident Commander Karl Banks said the agency completed an inspection of a 97,749-foot wastewater pipeline. The inspection was completed as planned within 35 days. During the town hall meeting, Mayor Richard Bissen thanked the EPA for its work, which he said ultimately saved the county two years, much ahead of schedule.

Surveys totaling 89,571 feet were submitted to the county and 8,178 feet were set aside for critical repairs and restoration. EPA operations included clearing pipes to send camera drones through the pipes to analyze the infrastructure. For more information, see the EPA presentation slides at www.mauirecovers.org/officeofrecovery.

The data obtained from the EPA was provided to a county consultant who is analyzing the data for a report intended to give the wastewater treatment department a clear picture of the extent of damage to the existing wastewater collection system and to help prioritize any repairs needed to restore sewer service in Lahaina become. The final report is expected in two to three weeks.

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The EPA is also working with the state Department of Health and the county Department of Water Supply to sample areas of water pressure to determine if water or laterals were contaminated during the fire.

As part of the testing, which is nearing completion, samples will be sent to a laboratory. The EPA tested 107 of 134 fire hydrants. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/maui-wildfires. For water advisory information, call 808-229-5184 or email [email protected] or visit www.mauirecovers.org/water.

Once EPA completes sampling, the county Department of Water Supply will review the test results and take corrective action as necessary. Areas from the Unsafe Water Advisory may be changed.

Homeowners meetingApril 16

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A Lahaina Homeowners Meeting April 16th at 5:30 p.m. at the Lahaina Civic Center will address issues related to recovery and respond to inquiries from community members who own homes affected by the August 2023 wildfires in Lahaina. The Office of Recovery asks homeowners to submit their questions about what to do after debris removal and the rebuilding process prior to the meeting so that recovery support teams can be better prepared to address important topics and questions. Questions can be submitted by April 1 at https://tinyurl.com/Homeowner-Questions.

Neighborhood planning workshop20th of April

The county also announced the start of a series of neighborhood planning workshops Kelawea Mauka on April 20 at 3 p.m. at the Lahainaluna Cafeteria. The neighborhood meetings are designed to address the more nuanced issues in specific communities and are led by the Office of Recovery's community planning team.

More information about the meetings will be announced at upcoming Lahaina Disaster Recovery Community Update meetings and at www.mauirecovers.org. Watch the full presentation from the March 13 community meeting below:

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