County: 90-day report shows environmental compliance at Olowalu Temporary Disposal Site for wildfire debris

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Debris removal work continues at the Temporary Debris Storage site in Olowalu. PC: County of Maui

The County of Maui reports that findings from sampling and monitoring for the first 90 days of operation at the Olowalu Temporary Debris Storage site are in compliance with county, state and federal environmental regulations.

The report was filed in accordance with Ordinance 5596, passed as Bill 120 by the Maui County Council, which requires record keeping for air, stormwater, leachate and groundwater quality monitoring at the Olowalu TDS.

In response, the US Army Corps of Engineers developed sampling and monitoring plans, with the first quarterly report available online at: It covers the period from Jan. 21 to April 19, 2024.


To date, more than 600 residential and commercial properties have been cleared of more than 100,000 tons of ash and debris in Lahaina.  The county reports that more than 7,000 truckloads of ash and debris have been transported from Lahaina to the TDS site in Olowalu.

The report shows no exceedance of health-based Action Levels in air quality monitoring, and no events of leachate leaving the lined basin, thus no suspected or potential impacts to groundwater or nearby waterways. According to the report, initial contents of leachate basin was stormwater from a large rain event before placement of ash and debris. The report notes that the leachate basin has been empty since March 24.

Screenshot from TDS Sampling and Monitoring Report (April 2024)

Hawai’i Department of Health has reviewed coastal water quality data and confirms that the data show that there are no ash or fire-related chemicals present at levels of human health concern. The DOH report, released last week notes that access is still restricted to certain coastal zones within the impacted area of Lahaina and these are not an option for ocean recreation at this time. DOH coastal water quality monitoring will begin this month and includes about eight locations from Olowalu to Kāʻanapali.


The report notes that the US Army Corps of Engineers will install groundwater monitoring wells around the TDS site this month.

Debris removal work continues at the Temporary Debris Storage site in Olowalu. PC: County of Maui

Bill 120 granted the US Army Corps of Engineers and their contractors right-of-entry to utilize two parcels located in Olowalu as the Temporary Debris Storage site for ash and debris from the Aug. 8 wildfires in Lahaina. Bill 120 requires that best efforts be used to protect against the runoff of debris or leachate from the TDS site to the ocean, including through run-on and run-off control, groundwater-detection monitoring, air quality monitoring, stormwater-pollution prevention, and maintenance of adequate documentation, record keeping, and transparent public reporting on these efforts. 

On April 10, at the County of Maui Disaster Recovery Community Update Meeting, Shayne Agawa, Director of the County Department of Environmental Management, gave a presentation on the Temporary Debris Storage environmental monitoring efforts in Olowalu.


USACE will continue the environmental monitoring, and data will be reported the same ways every 90 days for the duration of the right-of-entry agreement. The second quarterly report will be submitted by July 18, 2024. 

Ash and debris from Lahaina will continue to be removed by USACE and taken to the Temporary Debris Storage site in Olowalu, where it will remain until the Permanent Disposal Site is constructed.


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