Maui News

EPA Enforcement to Result in Restored Moloka‘i Wetlands

December 3, 2019, 11:10 AM HST
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Maui Now graphic.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with a property owner on Molokaʻi that will result in the restoration of a quarter acre of wetlands at Wailua Stream on the southeast side of the island.

The EPA says unpermitted construction activity created a linear channel through two adjacent neighbors’ properties, and the placement of fill from the channel in wetlands without authorization from the Corps.

The EPA reports that it has finalized an administrative order with the property owner, to implement a mitigation plan for the removal of the diversion channel.

During a site inspection in October 2018, the EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers, the Hawaiʻi Department of Public Health and the County of Maui reportedly found extensive soil disturbance. Afterward, the Corps referred the case to EPA for enforcement.

“Wetlands have a unique ecological importance on the Island of Molokaʻi and must be protected,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker in a press release. “Healthy wetlands help filter stormwater, create sustainable habitats and buffer communities from flooding.”

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