Passed Water Infrastructure Bill Includes Kahului and Hāna

May 23, 2014, 8:07 AM HST · Updated May 23, 8:21 AM
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Kahului Wailuku Wastewater Treatment Plant, photo by Wendy Osher.

Kahului Wailuku Wastewater Treatment Plant, photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

US Senator Mazie Hirono voted this week to pass a bipartisan water infrastructure bill that includes a number of key provisions for Hawaiʻi and the Island of Maui.

The measure includes improvements to the Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility that would extend and raise the elevation of the facility’s existing revetment to protect the shoreline and accommodate sea-rise.

The bill also aims to assist Hawaiʻi small harbors including prioritization of remote and subsistence harbor projects, including work at Hāna Harbor in East Maui.

Hāna Boat Ramp, file photo 2008 by Wendy Osher.

Hāna Boat Ramp, file photo 2008 by Wendy Osher.

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“Overall, this legislation provides needed support for water infrastructure, including flood protection and harbor projects around the country. Given Hawaii’s unique needs, I pushed for measures that benefit Hawaii small harbors and the Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility, which will save federal and county resources and improve Maui’s efforts to address sea-level rise. These are job-creating projects that will have a lasting impact on our communities,” said Hirono is a press release announcement.

The language in the harbors section of the bill also assists Laupāhoehoe Harbor on Hawaiʻi Island as well as harbors in American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

According to Hirono, the bill also eliminates an unnecessary federal approval process at the Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility, which will save the county and federal government an estimated $200,000, and allows the project to move forward.

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 now heads to President Obama for his signature.

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