Maui property owners whose homes were destroyed or damaged in the Aug. 8 fires can opt into the county’s debris removal program, coordinated by the US Army Corps of Engineers and funded by FEMA.
But Bill 86, prepared by Maui Mayor Richard Bissen’s administration and currently pending approval by the County Council, would serve as an initial step in defining the process for property owners who choose to remove fire debris under an alternative program.
The bill establishes standards and procedures for the removal of hazardous waste, fire debris and hazardous trees from properties damaged or destroyed in the August 2023 Maui wildfires.
The County Council is scheduled to take final action on Bill 86 on Oct. 12 at a special meeting that starts at 9 a.m. at the Kalana O Maui Building in Wailuku. The meeting can be watched online by clicking here, and then clicking on the video for the meeting.
“If a property owner chooses to remove debris on their own, their contractor must be specialized in hazardous and toxic material recovery and removal and must follow stringent health and safety standards,” Maui County Councilmembers Yuki Lei Sugimura and Tamara Paltin said in a joint statement.
If Bill 86 is approved on October 12, the council and administration will then need to work together to approve the requirements of the alternative program to further define the debris removal process.
“As the County Council and Mayor Bissen’s administration continue to work on the requirements of the alternative debris removal program, we strongly encourage impacted property owners to visit with the resource personnel available at the Lahaina Civic Center or the Kalana O Maui Building,” Sugimura and Paltin said.
Representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency and FEMA will be available to answer questions, Mondays through Saturdays, for Lahaina and Upcountry residents.
The Lahaina Civic Center is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Kalana O Maui Building (200 S. High St.) is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“In the aftermath of a wildfire disaster, there are many steps on the journey to recovery,” Sugimura and Paltin said. “The fire debris cleanup is a critical part of that journey and involves a phased approach that will require the coordination of local, state and federal partners.”
The Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked with coordinating Phase 2 of the debris removal program, in coordination with multiple partner agencies. Fillable Right-of-Entry forms are also available at www.mauirecovers.org/recovery/debrisremoval.
Phase 1 of debris removal is underway by the EPA, which is clearing toxic and hazardous materials from all properties in the burn zone of Lahaina. The EPA already completed this phase for the Kula burn zone.
Also at the two resource centers are representatives from the State Department of Health who are available to assist impacted residents with the reentry process with personal protective equipment. Staff of the county’s Real Property Tax Division also will be available to answer questions.
More information is available at www.mauirecovers.org/recovery-recovery-phases.