EPA awards $500,000 to rehabilitate and revitalize Maui communities

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Maui community of Lahaina burned by Aug. 8, 2023 wildfire. PC: Statefarm

Overburdened communities in Lahaina, Kahului and Wailuku are the beneficiaries of a $500,000 grant allocated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency announced today.

The $500,000 investment grant, awarded to United Way Maui, is intended expedite the assessment and cleanup of “brownfield sites” – contaminated properties that often constitute blight on a community — on Maui, while also creating new jobs.

“We are grateful to be recipients of the US EPA Brownfields Community-wide Assessment Grant,” said Maui United Way Co-Director Lisa Grove. “It is so critical to the revitalization of our economy while also helping to create healthier communities on Maui. It supports our Lahaina ʻohana to inventory, assess, and plan for the cleanup of their properties necessary to create community. We know that actions taken in the next few years will determine our future for decades to come.”


The Monday announcement accesses the $1.5 billion set aside by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021 for EPA’s Brownfields Program. EPA stated it anticipates finalizing all brownfields awards once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

United Way Maui will use its $500,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to assess potentially polluted environmental sites, identify and prioritize additional potentially contaminated sites, develop area-wide cleanup and reuse plans, and conduct engagement activities with the communities potentially impacted.

The target area for this grant is the Lahaina, Kahului, and Wailuku. Priority sites include a former school, church, commercial district, brewery, temple, and homeless center destroyed by fires. In addition, the United Way Maui application prioritized work at two dilapidated residential properties, a former gas station, three vacant lots, and two vacant and dilapidated commercial buildings.


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