Olowalu Valley descendant, Kawai Rodrigues, highlights the importance of Olowalu to Hawaiian culture and the nearby reef ecosystem.

(Video credit: Living Earth Systems)

Olowalu dump unanimously opposed by Maui residents and visitors


The toxic waste landfill site will be positioned only 400 yards from Maui’s marine  sanctuary and contain several “forever poisons” and toxins of concern to scientists and the community. Read more: National Institute of Health Library of Medicine, EPA

Olowalu reef is critical not only to the health of Maui’s oceans but is the primary source of coral larvae for the reefs of Lana’i, Moloka’i and West Maui.

Toxic waste site construction in Olowalu has torn apart the large cinder mound containing rich cultural and archeological structures. Some of these remain standning (see video above and images below)

In addition to the archeological features within the Olowalu Conservation District, there is a 1,000 acre stretch of coral reef designated as a Mission Blue Hope Spot and home to protected marine mammals, fish, and birthing humpback whales:

There is a high risk of contamination to Maui’s residents and visitors throughout the Olowalu Valley from wind-blown dust and ash particulates, and effluent effluent runoff from the overflowing leachate pool during heavy rainfall events.

Currently, only eight sites in the U.S. hold a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) permit to handle disposal of material contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs found in wildfire ash, soil, and other debris according to the EPA.

The U.S. EPA states that all landfills, even the most robust sites, eventually leak due to wear, stress, leachate, and other factors. U.S. Geological Survey

Watch the video below to see live footage of potential failure in handling of waste.

In order to position the toxic waste dump in Olowalu in close proximity to protected mammals, populations, and conservation districts, Mayor Bissen and Governor Josh Green have used their emergency powers to suspend numerous federal and state laws including the:

  • tClean Water Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act
  • Coastal Zone Management Act
  • Toxic Substances Control Act
  • Hawai’i’s Historic Preservation Law and Traditional and Customary Rights Acts, and more than 20 State of Hawai’i and County of Maui permitting and environmental review codes

In addition to these violations, the site was constructed without public knowledge, input from experts, or the required environmental assessments to manage waste that contains a level of toxicity only second to nuclear waste.

The proximity of the waste dump to the historic Olowalu town will permanently impair Hawaiian sustenance farming and fishing which are integral to Hawaiian cultural practice and protected activities by Sate and Federal law.

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