Maui News

Pollution-Prevention Evaluations Underway for Central Maui Businesses

April 22, 2021, 7:55 AM HST
* Updated April 22, 7:57 AM
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Courtesy photo.

Site evaluations of business facilities in Central Maui are being conducted by the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation’s Highways Division – Maui District (HWY-M) in an effort to protect Maui’s stormwater and coastal environment from pollution.

Among its other responsibilities, HWY-M oversees a storm sewer system that carries rainwater from the Central Maui region directly to streams and the ocean.

The drainage system helps to reduce problems associated with heavy rainfall, such as flooding. However, any pollutants that enter the storm drains – including trash, plant debris, soaps, grease, and chemicals – can also be carried through the drainage network and out to Maui’s water bodies, where it can cause environmental damage.

“We’re very appreciative of the businesses that have responded positively to this program and demonstrated that they care about operating responsibly and protecting Maui’s stormwater,” said Ty Fukuroku, program manager, Environmental Management, HWY-M. “Some of the businesses we’ve interacted with are already doing a great job, and others that received suggestions for improvement acted on them right away – kudos to all of them.”

Compliance with federal regulations governing pollutant discharge into storm drainage systems is required by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health Clean Water Branch. Fukuroku noted that HWY-M’s goal is to work cooperatively with local businesses to adopt good management practices that could potentially prevent a contamination incident or other problem in the future.

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“It’s like that old adage, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’,” he said. “The purpose of these on-site evaluations is to help identify conditions that could be problematic down the road, so businesses can take proactive steps to stop pollutants from escaping their facility and getting into the environment.

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“Oftentimes, good practices are pretty straightforward; for example: keeping your dumpster lids closed, sweeping and disposing of trash and debris around your facility, cleaning up leaks or spills, and adjusting car-washing activities to prevent runoff to storm drains.”

HWY-M’s on-site evaluations are currently conducted at Central Maui facilities for operations that are located adjacent to a state highway or have a drainage connection to the state’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) on Maui. The program may be extended to other areas of Maui in the future.

There is no charge for the evaluation. For more information or to schedule an evaluation, contact Ty Fukuroku at (808) 873-3535 or [email protected]

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Stormwater protection tips for businesses and residents are also available at www.stormwatermaui.com.

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