Honolulu Filled Stream with Concrete, Fill Materials
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 30 ordered the City and County of Honolulu to remove illegal fill and restore the stream bed and banks in Maili’ili Stream, Maili, Oahu.
The EPA’s action requires the city to:
- stop any further discharges of material into Maili’ili Stream;
- within 60 days, submit a plan to the EPA to remove the unauthorized fill materials and restore the stream, including properly disposing of materials, and installing erosion and sedimentation control measures.
- submit a final report to the EPA when the work is complete.
“This order will protect the coastline and water quality by removing the unauthorized fill and restoring the Maili’ili Stream to its previous condition,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “It’s vital to consult with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and obtain needed permits well in advance of any fill activity.”
In June, inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Health inspected the Maili’ili Stream after it received a complaint that the city had used equipment to place concrete and other material in the bed and bank of the stream. The inspectors found concrete and other material had been placed within the stream, and work reports from the city confirmed the city had placed the concrete and other material in the stream between February 2008 and May 2009.
On June 18, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a notice of unauthorized activity notifying the city of alleged violations for placing concrete slabs and other fill in the stream.
In July, inspectors from the EPA and DOH inspected the stream and confirmed that concrete rubble, metal debris, used asphalt and dirt had been placed in Maili’ili Stream. The city had filled an area of about 1.08 acres in Maili’ili Stream: along both the north and south banks, the fill was about eight yards wide for a distance of about 175 yards. Fill extended across the entire 33-yard channel width for the uppermost 70 yards of the stream.
The Clean Water Act prohibits the placement of dredged or fill materials into wetlands, rivers, streams and other waters of the United States without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.