Community Meetings on Affordable Housing Plan

We need much more affordable housing, but building in the Pu‘uone of Wai‘ale on iwi kupuna is NOT a good plan for affordable housing. It would be important for this county plan to include that information and that conclusion. Please attend, learn and speak at a meeting near you:

Press Release - HCA, Akaku Announce Series of Community Meetings to Inform Maui's Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan

ALERT: Water Use and Development Plan (WUDP) at County Council October 9 at 9am

The Council vote was postponed from Sept 11 to Oct 9 and Haiku Community Association held a Town Hall on the WUDP on Sept 24.

It became clear at that Town Hall that the WUDP really needs more work to be the plan we need for the next 20 years.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION ONE MORE TIME:
The County Council will hear from the public ONE LAST TIME on the Draft Maui Water Use Development Plan (“WUDP”) before the first of two votes needed to adopt the plan.

Speak up for better water planning this Friday Oct 9 at 9am at the Council meeting.
The agenda Item is CR 20-128.

Please ask the Council to refer the Water Plan back to committee,  so that a few needed amendments can be added before it is adopted.

Please support the amendments proposed by community groups (see list below).

Online Only via BlueJeans link https://maui.bluejeans.com/295235670.

Individuals may provide oral testimony by phone or videoconference. To join the meeting by phone, call 1 408-317-9253 and input meeting code 295235670.

You can also testify with e-mail: county.clerk@mauicounty.us

Sierra Club is proposing amendments that would:

1) Have WUDP include more accurate,  updated and realistic data about ag water demand for the former HC&S Plantation lands.
Alternative scenarios included in the WUDP need to be be based not just on number of acres, but on water use per acre. This information is available.
Current WUDP water use projections of Mahi Pono ag operations using 4,000 gal per acre/day and accepting that 22% of water delivered will be lost as  “wasted water” is not a 20 year sustainable view.

2) WUDP should recommend Maui County amends its “water standard”  for resorts (currently allowing a whopping 17,000 per acre/day) to a more reasonable standard of 4,000 gpd/acre as part of overall water efficiency and conservation measures to help conserve Iao aquifer.
Maui County water standards currently allow resort properties to use up to 17,000 gallons per day per acre of potable water.  O’ahu standard is 4,000 gpd/acre.

3) Include all the updated information tables from the 2019 State Water Resources Protection Plan (WRPP) in the Maui WUDP.
Stream information has changed since 2008, as have safe withdrawal limits (“Sustainable Yield”) for all of East Maui aquifers.
The Ko‘olau and Hāna Aquifer sectors sustainable yield figures have decreased by a total of 66 million gal a day between the 2008 and 2019 WRPP.
Currently there is one 2019 WRPP map in an addendum, but every table in the WUDP has the old 2008 data.This is what will be quoted in environmental documents.

Haiku Community Association is also proposing some very needed amendments to the WUDP about:

1) Updated data and a clearer solution to the Upcountry water meter list;
2)  Public management of the East Maui ditch system;
3) True costs of the proposed Ha’iku wells, and who will foot the bill if local wells and springs are dried up:
4) More details about private water agreements the County Water Department has with A&B and others and how they affect who gets what water

All these  amendments are really needed if the Plan is to give clear guidance to our lawmakers and community over the next 20 years.

Mahalo nui. Please send your thoughts to:
county.clerk@mauicounty.us
and testify if you can with bluejeans or by phone:
https://maui.bluejeans.com/295235670
1 408-317-9253 and input meeting code 295235670

Comment on Water Use and Development Plan from Jeffrey Parker

To:
Maui County Board of Water Supply                                                                       8-17-20
Chair Shay Chan Hodges

From:
Jeffrey Parker
Director
Coalition To Protect East Maui Water Resources
P.O. Box 170
Haiku, HI 96708
808 572-8569

Subject: Water Use and Development Plan
August 20, 2020 Public Meeting

Dear Chair Hodges and Members,

As Director of the Coalition To Protect East Maui Water Resources – one of the “Consent Decree Parties”, I am writing to express our concern that the BWS may not be aware of all conditions of the Consent Decree and our settlement with the County.  Specifically how the CD relates to the portion of the WUDP dealing with the proposed Haiku well field  (now said to be in the “Koolau Aquifer Sector”)   Those conditions, which we all agreed to, are not fully satisfied in the current version of the WUDP.  We believe that BWS should recommend that the WUDP not be accepted until all pertinent conditions of the Consent Decree are satisfied.

  1. From Chapter 14 of the current Draft WUDP: “Since 2003 there have been multiple assessments and cost-benefit studies conducted to explore groundwater development outside the Consent Decree area in the Haiku Aquifer …….”

From the Consent Decree:  4.2 Before any new project is planned by the County of Maui to develop groundwater in the agreed- upon portion of the East Maui Region, the County will undertake a Cost/Benefit Study of the surface and groundwater resources available in the Central Maui Region, Upcountry Maui Region and East Maui Region and conduct a rigorous Cost/Benefit analysis, including the evaluation of economic and environmental factors, of developing and transmitting these water resources. This Study shall address planning for stream restoration in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region.

None of the 3 studies mentioned in Chapter 14 of the WUDP comply with the agreements in the Consent Decree.  None of the 3 compare all the geographical regions listed in the CD. Likewise, none of them look at environmental impacts.  The Draft WUDP does not indicate that 16 Haiku deep wells will be part of any comprehensive study.

  1. From Consent Decree: Stream Restoration.10.1 The County agrees that as long term agricultural water needs are reduced, a stream restoration program will be studied, developed and initiated by the County. As such, the County agrees that one component of any plan or program to develop further water resources in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region must include the study, development and initiation, as may be applicable, of a stream restoration program in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region.

We think there has been ample time for the County to begin studying and developing a stream restoration program for streams in the Haiku aquifer area. None of these streams was part of the East Maui Water commission decision that is often referred to in the Draft WUDP.  These are cherished Haiku streams like East and West Kuiaha, Awalau and others. There is no reason for the DWS to postpone this important effort until the “Koolau Well Plan” is far along, and drilling of the wells is ready to commence.  A valid WUDP will detail the progress being made by the County on a stream restoration program.

  1. From the CD: Use of Data From Pumping of Two Hamakuapoko Wells  9.1 Actual data obtained from the pumping of the two Hamakuapoko Wells shall be employed  preparing the Cost/Benefit analysis referenced above and in deciding whether to begin planning any further project to develop groundwater resources in the agreed-upon portion of the East Maui Region.

To my knowledge, ongoing study of pumping of the two Hamakuapoko Wells did not happen.  The language of the CD is clear:  this data must be used in “deciding whether to begin planning any further project”.  In our view, there has been plenty of time for the County to gather this data for use in a new WUDP. Monitoring data from these is not included in the WUDP, that we could find.

  1. The WUDP clearly anticipates the removal of Haiku water and sending it to Central and

South Maui to “meet planned growth”.  Yet the residents of Haiku have never been consulted.  No public meetings have been held with Haiku residents during the preparation this WUDP.  A public meeting zoom conference should be held, through the auspices of the Haiku Community Association, or other local organization.  Additionally, to my knowledge the Consent Decree Parties also have not been consulted.

Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.

Aloha
Jeffrey Parker

 

The Troubling Consequences of Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks

Submitted July 30, 2020 as an Op-Ed to The New York Times

The Troubling Consequences of Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks

By Kayli Ottomanelli, studying social environmental science and sustainability at the University of Mary Washington, and an intern for the Rappahannock Group of the Sierra Club.

In less than 100 days Americans will vote in the fall presidential election. This election will have a far greater impact on peoples’ lives than many voters realize. Since Donald Trump assumed the presidency in 2017, he has made it his top priority to dismantle many of the environmental protections established under the Obama administration. The New York Times (NYT) has kept a running count of every environmental law Trump has modified or reversed during his tenure (1). The count now stands at approximately 100 environmental rollbacks (1). What the article will not tell you, however, is that these rollbacks will cause over 79,700 premature deaths annually and put another 73.6 million Americans at risk of serious injury or illness (2-8, 11-16). If Trump were elected to a second term, these deaths and debilitating illnesses will continue to climb precipitously.

Many might wonder how such a shockingly large death count could have been overlooked and unreported. The answer? Until now, we have only reviewed the costs of individual environmental rollbacks, not the cumulative effects of every action combined. In some cases, the consequences of an environmental rollback have been easy to identify due to widespread coverage by the media. For example, Trump’s replacement of the Clean Power Plan made dozens of headlines when the EPA predicted the new policy would result in 1,400 premature deaths (7).  It reappeared in the news when the Natural Resources Defense Council found this number to be closer to 5,200 premature deaths annually (8). Other reversals have received less attention. Case in point, the new EPA regulations on lead and copper in drinking water doubled the time allotted to replace poisonous lead pipes (3). That made fewer headlines despite increasing the risk of lead poisoning for the 18 million Americans whose water systems still contain high levels of lead (11). It can be difficult to comprehend the collective effects of 100 individual actions on our health and livelihoods. Regardless, actions do accumulate and the consequences are far worse than we ever imagined.

The death count we face now is not due to benign neglect or sheer ignorance; the Trump administration is well-aware of the costs that accompany their policy changes. Vermont Law School Professor, Patrick Parenteau, has noted that in virtually every environmental rollback, Trump’s E.P.A. has acknowledged in the fine print that their legislative changes will cause increased pollution, resulting in an enormous surge in health problems and deaths (2). Donald Trump is willfully exchanging American lives for the favor of industry leaders. The Declaration of Independence proclaims that every American has the right to the blessings of liberty: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Upon entering office, Trump took an oath promising to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and the blessings of liberty and prosperity it guarantees to citizens of the United States. Despite this, Trump has taken upon himself to revoke the unalienable rights of 79,700 Americans in order to repeal “unnecessary” regulations that burden businesses (1). By “burden,” he means laws that interfere with company profits, regardless of the impact on everyday citizens. By failing to act for the American people, Trump is not performing his duties as President and should not be considered for a second term.

Trump has defended his environmental policy decisions by citing their benefits to the economy. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has boasted that the Trump Administration’s environmental rollbacks have saved American businesses $6.5 billion (10). However, a thriving economy means little if it is built upon the misfortune of those it is intended to benefit. According to Kip Viscusi, an economist at Vanderbilt University, government agencies currently value a statistical human life at $10 million (9). Using that valuation, Trump has cost the nation $797 billion from his environmental rollbacks alone. However, the death tally from our president should also include his failure to effectively address the Covid-19 pandemic. Millions sickened, nearly 150,000 dead, and the count continues to climb day-by-day. How many more Americans must sicken and die due to Trump’s environmental policies and gross mismanagement of the pandemic? If Trump remains president, he will continue to cost the nation billions with his deliberate disregard for human life.

Trump’s presidency has caused this nation irreparable damage. He has only prolonged the slow death of the oil, gas, and coal industries; while dramatically reducing the resiliency of our lands and waterways in the process. Our nation will never be great as long as we have a President that favors power and profit over human well-being. To prevent further unnecessary death and suffering, every effort must be made to defeat Trump in the upcoming presidential election. Every vote cast for Donald Trump will further endanger the lives of American citizens. This is what hangs in the balance in this November’s presidential election.

 

 

References

  1. Albeck-Ripka, Livia, Kendra Pierre-Louis and Nadja Popovich. “The Trump Administration Is Reversing 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List.” 15 July 2020. The New York Times. July 2020.
  2. Davenport, Coral and Lisa Friedman. “E.P.A. Weakens Controls on Mercury.” 16 April 2020. The New York Times. July 2020.
  3. Davenport, Coral. “New E.P.A. Lead Standards Would Slow Replacement of Dangerous Pipes.” 10 October 2019. The New York Times. July 2020.
  4. Environmental & Energy Law Program . “Petroleum Refinery Sector Rule (NESHAPs / NSPS).” 11 December 2018. Environmental & Energy Law Program . July 2020.
  5. Environmental Defense Fund. “National clean car standards.” n.d. Environmental Defense Fund . July 2020.
  6. Environmental Integrity Project. “Environmental Protections on the Chopping Block.” n.d. Environmental Integrity Project. July 2020.
  7. Freidman, Lisa. “Cost of New E.P.A. Coal Rules: Up to 1,400 More Deaths a Year.” 21 August 2018. The New York Times. July 2020.
  8. Friedman, Lisa. “E.P.A. Finalizes Its Plan to Replace Obama-Era Climate Rules.” 19 June 2019. The New York Times . July 2020.
  9. Gonzalez, Sarah. “How Government Agencies Determine The Dollar Value Of Human Life.” 23 April 2020. NPR. July 2020.
  10. Jackson, Derrick Z. “Derrick Z. Jackson: EPA’s new water rule is a mockery of science and the Clean Water Act.” 27 January 2020. Environmental Health News. July 2020.
  11. Layne, Rachel. “Lead in America’s water systems is a national problem.” 21 November 2018. CBS News. July 2020.
  12. Myers, Jessica. “Cronkite News: Plan to ‘revive’ uranium mining called unneeded, unwanted by advocates.” 09 June 2020. Cronkite News. July 2020.
  13. NYS Attorney General . “Attorney General James Sues Trump Admin For Gutting Safety Protections For Chemical Accidents.” 29 January 2020. NYS Attorney General . July 2020.
  14. Occupational Safety & Health Administration . ““Crystalline Silica Exposure” Health Hazard Information for General Industry Employees.” 2002. United States Department of Labor . July 2020.
  15. Storrow, Benjamin. “Trump’s EPA Made It Easier for Coal Plants to Pollute Waterways.” 24 September 2018. E&E News. July 2020.
  16. Walker, Joro. “Environmental Rollbacks by the Trump Administration Threaten Westerners’ Health and Way of Life.” 19 May 2020. Western Resource Advocates. July 2020.

Ideas for Solo Hiking – Waihe‘e Ridge Trail

In April/May 2020 we are required to keep a distance from people outside of our own household to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and to allow our health and other services to take care of those who need help. Sierra Club has therefor canceled all organized outings until further notice. But we are still allowed to venture out on our own or with members of our own household for exercise such as walking, running, hiking, swimming and surfing. No need to stay cooped up at home all day. Just keep at least six feet between yourself and anyone you meet. This is the fifth of several posts on good places to go hiking/walking without a guide.


The first four installments of this series covered only trails with limited elevation change. The two most popular Maui trails in the State Nā Ala Hele system provide an uphill challenge along with some extraordinary views: the Lāhaina Pali Trail and the Waihe‘e Ridge Trail. This article is about the latter of the two.

The 0.9 mile Maluhia road up to the trail head starts immediately opposite (mauka) of the Mendes Ranch on Kahekili Highway. The road ends at a parking lot with space for about 25 cars. It is often almost full. There is overflow parking at the turnoff from Kahekili Highway.

To the top of the trail and back is about 4 miles, with an elevation gain of 1,650 feet.

The first segment of the trail is a straight, steep walk up concrete, but after that it is all forest and dirt trail. Extensive repairs and improvements were completed a couple of years ago, making it less likely you’ll slip and slide. The trail is very easy to follow and you will meet families, people walking dogs and also runners.

Most of the forest is non-native but there are native ‘ōhi‘a, ‘ōlapa, uluhe and ‘ie‘ie to be seen. The Mauna Kahalawai Watershed Partnership has been planting more native plants. There are brushes at the trailhead to clean your boots before and after hiking so you don’t risk spreading Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death or invasive species.

There are very impressive views at about the half-way point looking down to the valley and along the coast past Kahului. If you are lucky, you will have even more striking views from the top, but often that level is shrouded by clouds. Early morning is the most likely time to beat the clouds. On the way up you will see at least one waterfall.

Here is a map: https://bit.ly/waihee-ridge. The Kukuipuka Heiau is just below the trail head (leave your car in the trail head parking and walk down the road a short ways to the gate on the right).

Ideas for Solo Hiking – Upcountry

In April/May 2020 we are required to keep a distance from people outside of our own household to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and to allow our health and other services to take care of those who need help. Sierra Club has therefor canceled all organized outings until further notice. But we are still allowed to venture out on our own or with members of our own household for exercise such as walking, running, hiking, swimming and surfing. No need to stay cooped up at home all day. Just keep at least six feet between yourself and anyone you meet. This is the fourth of several posts on good places to go hiking/walking without a guide.


The Makawao Forest Reserve hosts one of the more popular trails on Maui. It is easy to get to Upcountry, and a very pleasant destination for those seeking refuge from sun and heat near the coast because it is all shady. The Makawao Forest Reserve is an example of successful reforestation using non-native trees – mostly tropical ash, eucalyptus and cook pine. In today’s world the choice might have been native Hawaiian trees, but many of the benefits of reforestation have been accomplished. You will see indigenous ti plants and you may see indigenous maile and halapepe on your hike.

The Kahakapao Loop is just under five miles round-trip. It is well-marked and easy to follow as you can see in the pictures, with a gentle elevation gain of 1,165 feet. If the parking is full (at the end of Kahakapao Road), there is another parking lot accessible from the first parking lot, with a sign for horse trailers. The trail is shared with bike riders heading up-hill (they have dedicated trails for going down-hill). Here is a map:

https://bit.ly/kahakapao

Unfortunately there are many invasive plant species in the forest, including banana poka, strawberry guava and himalayan ginger. While they may be pretty to look at, they choke out native plants.