Committee Votes to Settle Lahaina Injection Well Case
On Friday night, a Maui County Council committee agreed to settle the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility injection well case.
Rep. Angus L.K. McKelvey commended the Governance, Ethics, and Transparency Committee for its decision to settle rather than pursuing the case to the Supreme Court.
“This is a strong step forward for the restoration and protection of our marine environment and I hope the public, along with the supporting members of the Council, will remain vigilant going forward,” McKelvey said in a press release.
In 2012, four environmental organizations filed a lawsuit against the county, claiming that pollutants from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility are flowing to the ocean and harming coral reefs.
The county argued that it would not need any permit under the Clean Water Act because the effluent does not stream directly into the ocean, but indirectly through groundwater.
“I am hopeful the supporting members will continue to be steadfast in the same course of action by the Council as whole,” McKelvey said. “I humbly ask those who are not in support of today’s recommendation to reexamine the issues again in light of the new letter from the Department of Health to the County.”
According to McKelvey, the letter reaffirms that the department would not require permits of individual cesspool or septic tank owners.
The resolution now moves to the full council for a vote.