10/2/18 #kihei This is not a Kihei Community Association event, but one sponsored by the newly formed Ma’alaea Village Association. We offer this information about the event in support of a long-held concern of KCA and now shared by the MVA.
MA`ALAEA TOWN MEETING
WASTEWATER TREATMENT – MA`ALAEA
- Friday, October 5, 5:00 PM, Pacific Whale Foundation
- Downstairs classroom
Several Ma`alaea condominiums are under enforcement action from the state Department of Health to rebuild their wastewater treatment plants. Cost estimates are in the neighborhood of one million dollars each.
Maui County recently lost its lawsuit on appeal against the federal EPA under the Clean Water Act. In 2018, the injection wells of the County of Maui’s Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Ka`anapali were proven to violate the US Clean Water Act. In the Ka`anapali lawsuit decision, the Court found that pumping sewer effluent (liquid waste or sewage discharged into a river or the sea) into the water table has the same end result as pumping effluent directly into the ocean. Because of the ruling, injection wells all over the islands are coming under increasing scrutiny.
Every condominium and business in Ma`alaea uses injection wells to dispose of treated wastewater. If it is demonstrated that Ma`alaea injection wells are causing ocean pollution, then in the future, all properties would likely be forced to seek disposal alternatives, even if recent investments were made to upgrade treatment plants. It may be more economical to consider a community or regional solution.
Based on the responses to a recent survey of the Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO) properties in Ma`alaea, the MVA will hold a Ma`alaea Town Meeting to hear speakers on several related issues. These issues include the changing regulatory climate; the impact of our wastewater treatment systems on Ma`alaea Bay; and the feasibility of a regional wastewater treatment plant for Ma`alaea Village.
The panel will include representatives from:
- the Maui Ocean Center
- the State Department of Health Wastewater Division and the
- Hawaii Water Service Co., which is the owner/operator of the Pukalani wastewater system under the state Public Utility Commission
MVA is acting as a resource and information conduit – we have no position on the issue. We encourage all property owners and AOAO officers to attend the town meeting set for Friday, October 5 at 5:00 PM, at the Pacific Whale Foundation in the downstairs classroom.