May 22, 2014

HIRONO ANNOUNCES HAWAII BENEFITS IN WATER BILL

Includes Measures To Improve Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility And To Assist Hawaii Small Harbors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono voted today to pass a bipartisan water infrastructure bill - the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) - that includes a number of key provisions for Hawaii. The legislation heads to President Obama for his signature. A member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during her six years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Hirono and her office worked with her colleagues on a bicameral basis to include measures to improve the Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility and to assist Hawaii small harbors.

“I am pleased Congress came together to pass this critical bipartisan water infrastructure bill,” said Hirono. “Overall, this legislation provides needed support for water infrastructure, including flood protection and harbor projects around the country. Given Hawaii’s unique needs, I pushed for measures that benefit Hawaii small harbors and the Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility, which will save federal and county resources and improve Maui’s efforts to address sea-level rise. These are job-creating projects that will have a lasting impact on our communities.”

Hirono worked to see the following measures included in the final bill:

Assisting Hawaii Small Harbors

Hirono worked to assist the Army Corps of Engineers in prioritizing remote and subsistence harbor projects, which include certain small harbors in Hawaii, such as Hana Harbor on Maui and Laupahoehoe Harbor on Hawaii Island. This language will also assist harbors in American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Removing Red Tape Surrounding The Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility
Maui County is in the process of evaluating a proposed shoreline protection project for the area surrounding the Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility. Hirono's proposal includes extending and raising the elevation of the facility’s existing revetment to protect the shoreline and accommodate sea-rise. Language included in WRRDA restores the primary responsibility for the project to Maui County, which eliminates an unnecessary federal approval process, saves the County and Federal government an estimated $200,000 and allows this important project to move forward.