Maui Projects Highlighted as Health Department Gets National Award

January 12, 2010, 9:49 AM HST · Updated January 12, 9:49 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Two Maui projects were included on a list of accomplishments made by the state Department of Health as officials accepted national honors from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The PISCES Award recognizes the department for its management, creative initiatives and exceeding national green project requirements.

Projects on Maui included on the list of accomplishments include the replacement of old sewage pumps with energy efficient ones.  The new pumps are guaranteed to reduce energy costs by 20 percent.

The County of Maui also worked to strengthen the structure of its Wailuku-Kahului Treatment Plant to provide for coastal adaptation, sustainability, and protection against tsunami threats.

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The PISCES or Performance and Innovation in the State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success Award is presented each year to one state or county from each of EPA’s ten regions in the U.S.  The 2009 award presented to Hawai‘i in December recognizes the accomplishments of DOH’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program. This program provides low interest loans to county governments to expand and rehabilitate wastewater infrastructure.

Hawaii’s CWSRF Program allocated 42 percent of economic stimulus funds from the American Recover and Reinvestment Act to support “green projects.” That’s more than double the federal 20 percent requirement.

Besides the two Maui projects, others included on the list were:

  • Kaua‘i County’s expansion of its Waimea Wastewater Treatment Plant capacity, upgrading the facility to produce R-1 quality reusable water, and installing photovoltaic cells to reduce energy costs;
  • Hawai‘i County’s closure of large capacity cesspools (LCCs) in the Komohana Heights, Honoka‘a, and Queen Lili‘uokalani Village areas, which will enable compliance with the federal ban on LCCs; and
  • Honolulu’s Waimalu Sewer project, which was the first of the ARRA projects to start construction in July 2009 and is progressing with its microtunneling operations.

“We’re very pleased that the EPA has recognized our efforts to increase program participation and assist counties in making their wastewater plants more energy efficient and sustainable,” said Laurence Lau, Deputy Director for Environmental Health, “The CWSRF Program continues to make every effort to expedite funding of ARRA projects,” said Lau.

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