U.S. EPA and local landowner reach agreement over addressing damages to Molokai Wetlands
HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized an administrative order with Charles Miguel Sr., a property owner, over the unpermitted construction of a diversion channel in Southeast Molokai, Hawaii. Under the terms of the order, Mr. Miguel has agreed to submit and implement a mitigation plan that will remove the diversion channel and restore the quarter acre of wetlands impacted by his unauthorized activity.
“Wetlands have a unique ecological importance on the Island of Molokai and must be protected,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Healthy wetlands help filter stormwater, create sustainable habitats, and buffer communities from flooding.”
In October 2018, EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps), the Hawaii Department of Public Health (DOH), and the County of Maui conducted site inspections and found extensive soil disturbance. Afterward, the Corps referred the case to EPA for enforcement and EPA has coordinated with DOH on this important case.
The unpermitted construction activity in the Waialua Stream wetlands created a linear channel through two adjacent neighbors’ properties. Mr. Miguel then placed the excavated fill from the new channel in wetlands without authorization under a permit from the Corps, which regulates wetlands under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
For more information on the importance of wetlands, please visit: www.epa.gov/wetlands
For more information on Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/cwa-404/permit-program-under-cwa-section-404