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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Grant Successes in Hawaii

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Region 9's Brownfields Program works to clean up and redevelop potentially contaminated lands in the Pacific Southwest region, making it easier for properties to become vital, functioning parts of their communities.

Brownfields funding has provided resources for five sites in the State of Hawaii, ensuring the preservation of the islands’ natural beauty and local ecosystems, while simultaneously providing economic development and and opportunity for social improvements.

Anahola Homesteaders Council

Proposed layout for Project Faith town center
Proposed layout for "Project Faith" town center. Larger version

Working to restore a 20-acre property on the island of Kauai, grantee Anahola Homesteaders Council conducted clean-ups for chemicals emitted during the site’s former use as a sugar cane field.

Originally used for sugar cane production, the site became an illegal dump for various forms of waste.

A $200,000 cleanup grant awarded by EPA addressed the problems at the site by assisting in surface debris removal, soil excavation and replacement, and on site phytoremediation of the soil.

Future plans for the site include the construction of a Green-building community town center designated to provide space for:

  • community services
  • small entrepreneurial businesses
  • educational, cultural, and health & wellness services
  • a new location and cultural center for a local Native Hawaiian charter school
Coined “Project Faith”, the town center will additionally accommodate:

  • Services for over 3,000 local residents
  • 150-300 new jobs

While financial aid for "Project Faith" is still pending, the site has temporarily functioned as the location for a local community swap meet and other recreational activities throughout Winter 2006-07.

Kauai County

An assessment grant issued to Kauai County allowed for significant progress to be made prioritizing the island's redevelopment possibilities. After developing an inventory of potential Brownfields sites for the island, the County:

  • prioritized sites according to redevelopment potential
  • conducted Phase I and II site assessments on the most promising properties
  • produced redevelopment and cleanup plans for each of the sites
  • developed community involvement activities

Green Building project house
Various forms of debris found on-site at Anahola Bike Path
Five sites have been deemed eligible for Phase 1 assessments and of these, two were selected for Phase 2 assessments. The two sites chosen for Phase 2 assessments are Anahola Bike Path and Lihue Plantation Mill. Kauai County conducted assessments to determine the type and degree of contaminants on site.

The assessment at Anahola Bike Path made significant progress toward completing the remediation process. The assessments will achieve a more accurate clean and expedite the bike path's restoration for safe public use.

The two mile segment of the bike path assessed by the County will contribute to a larger development plan for a 16 mile bike and pedestrian trail along the Kauai coastline.

Prior to assessment efforts, the bike path had been the site for various forms of illegal dumping including abandoned cars and other debris.

The second site to receive a Phase 2 assessment, Lihue Plantation Mill, produced favorable results as surface soil samples indicated the site posed no significant risk to human health or the environment.

Assessment results will serve as a guide to the County and private landowners for clean up needed to enable redevelopment.

Additionally, on-going discussions have explored the possibility of donating the site to the county for future use.

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Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT)

As part of a collaborative effort between four state agencies, DBEDT has utilized a 200,000 Hazardous Material grant to increase affordable housing for Hawaii’s indigenous population.

Located in East Kapolei, Oahu, the 400 acre site, has been selected for the development of over 1100 affordable single and multi family homes coordinated by the State Department of Hawaiian Homestead Lands (DHHL). Assessments conducted under DBEDT's grant expedited the process and insured the successful reuse of the area to serve Native Hawaiian homesteaders.

Green Building project house
Ala Moana Pump Station

Former tenant, Oahu Sugar Company, used a portion of the site for agricultural chemical mixing, loading, and bulk storage, that led to contamination of the site’s underlying soil. In 1995, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources assumed jurisdiction over the site and then transferred authority to DHHL for the homestead housing development.

Additionally, two Phase I assessments conducted on Oahu are also being conducted under a separate Petroleum grant.

The first assessment was conducted on a former cattle finishing feed lot adjacent to Campbell Industrial Park in West Oahu.  Acquired by the State of Hawaii in the 1980s, the Ewa Feed Lot is projected to be reused for industrial use after site assessments and any necessary remediation efforts have been completed.

A second assessment is currently underway at a historic abandoned pump station in Honolulu's Kakaako Community Development District. A Phase I report will indicate whether remediation will be needed for future redevelopment, reducing the cost to developers interested in restoring the site for reuse.

Hawaii County

Similar to the work conducted in Kauai County, the County of Hawaii has also been chartered under an assessment grant to:

  • develop an inventory of Brownfields sites within the county
  • perform Phase I and II assessments of three to five sites
  • conduct community outreach activities

Presently, the county is completing a final inventory of sites and awaiting a complete assessment of pesticide, herbicide and other industrial solvent concentrations on the sites.

This final inventory will emphasize the redevelopment of old warehouses in downtown Hilo, abandoned dumps and plantation landfills, and other sugarcane lands and facilities. All sites being taken into consideration have formerly been used for industrial, agricultural, or mixed use.

Revitalization at these sites will create a "green belt" between cruise ship terminals and the Hilo harbor commercial area. Reuse plans at sites once containing dumps or landfills will focus on residential or agricultural development. Former plantation operation areas will be turned into new light industrial facilities.

Public community meetings have been held in both Hilo and Kona to discuss potential remediation and also with stakeholders to address local economic needs.

The completion of the five Phase I site assessments and two site assessments has been set for September 30, 2007.

City and County of Honolulu

The City and County of Honolulu Department of Community Services announced a February 2007 timeline for choosing a consultant to assist with the final selection of preliminary sites for their assessment grant.

As part of $400,000 in assessment grant funding awarded May 2006, these preliminary sites will undergo:

  • Environmental Site Assessments
  • Restoration efforts

Redevelopment plans for high priority sites will be developed and community involvement activities will be performed.

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