After being elected mayor of Maui County in November of 2010, Mayor Alan Arakawa spoke publicly about Molokai for the first time in his State of the County address, highlighting the need for improvements at the Molokai Solid Waste Facility at Naiva.
In that speech, given in February of 2011, Arakawa said: “On Molokai, the county is helping to get rid of more than 3,000 abandoned vehicles. Besides being an eyesore these vehicles are dangerous as potential fire hazards and environmental threats due to chemicals leaking into the soil.”
While the abandoned vehicles were eventually removed, the State Department of Health cited Maui County for a two-count violation in April 2011 for failing to minimize litter generation and failure to place daily cover at the facility. An administrative penalty of $20,955 was imposed at the time.
Now, the County of Maui Department of Environmental Management and the DOH have reached a settlement on this case along with another one at the Maui landfill involving permit violations in 2011. In the Maui case, Maui County was penalized $121,900 for failing to maintain leachate compliance levels in the leachate wet well and sump, and failure to monitor and record leachate levels after a storm event.
Both the Maui and Molokai cases were settled for a cash penalty of $70,000. Another part of the settlement involves a supplemental environmental project, which is a household hazardous waste collection program for Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The project is valued at about $70,000 and will run during the 2015 fiscal year.