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Thursday, April 4, 2024
Lahaina: 500 Properties Cleared, Zero Building Permits Issued
By News Release @ 3:18 PM :: 1552 Views :: Maui County, Development

USACE reaches milestone in Hawai‘i wildfire debris removal mission

by Stacey Reese, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District, 04.04.2024

HONOLULU — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleared debris from the 500th residential property within Lahaina, Hawai’i, April 2.

(CLUE: No Lahaina burn zone property owners have been given building permits.)

USACE officials started this portion of the debris removal mission Jan. 16. Since then, USACE has worked with Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, state of Hawai‘i and Maui County to support the community during the debris recovery process.

(CLUE: No Lahaina burn zone property owners have been given building permits.)

There are approximately 1,600 properties impacted by the wildfires Aug. 8, 2023. USACE staff acknowledge the cultural significance of the areas and communities impacted by the Maui Wildfires, and, as a result, contracted a Cultural Hui, or team, of community leaders, cultural practitioners, architects, and archaeology professionals to ensure the debris removal process respects the cultural significance of the community and its history. Native Hawaiian cultural advisors based in Maui are working alongside USACE debris teams and are taking the lead in efforts to protect the cultural heritage of Hawai‘i and its Native Hawaiian people throughout the process.

(CLUE: No Lahaina burn zone property owners have been given building permits.)

“We got this work done because the hands behind the tools were vested in the community and committed to delivering for their families, their neighbors, their neighborhoods and their community,” said Col. Eric Swenson, USACE recovery field office commander. “It has been a tremendous effort by the contractors and our fellow local, state and federal partners.”

(CLUE: No Lahaina burn zone property owners have been given building permits.)

USACE staff also supported the EPA during Phase 1 of the debris mission, which included months of site assessments, hazardous household material removal and bulk asbestos material removal. The process is nearly complete.

(CLUE: No Lahaina burn zone property owners have been given building permits.)

The Phase 2 debris removal process includes dampening the debris with water before placing it in a truck that is wrapped in thick industrial plastic, and then sealed with an adhesive prior to transport to the temporary debris storage site. This method prevents debris and ash from becoming airborne during transport.

(CLUE: No Lahaina burn zone property owners have been given building permits.)

Once a property is cleared of debris, USACE staff will then test the soil to ensure it is safe. Once safe and erosion control installed, USACE staff notify County of Maui that the property is complete and ready to begin the rebuilding process.

(CLUE: No Lahaina burn zone property owners have been given building permits.)


August, 2023: Do Lahaina Property Owners Have the Right to Rebuild?

October, 2023: Right to Rebuild? No Building Permits Issued Since Lahaina Fire

March, 2024: Maui is Still Waiting: Iniki Building Permits Were Issued Within One Month of Disaster

HNN: Wildfire recovery milestone: 500th residential property in Lahaina cleared of debris, hazardous materials


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