Judge finds Maui County breaking law with Lahaina wastewater

Published: Jan. 27, 2015 at 11:49 AM HST
Published: Jan. 27, 2015 at 11:49 AM HST

Hawaii News Now | January 27, 2015

HONOLULU —A federal judge says Maui County is violating the Clean Water Act by releasing partially treated wastewater into wells close to Lahaina’s coast.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway ruled Friday the county released wastewater through injection wells numbered 1 and 2 without a permit.

Mollway already ruled in June the county violated the law by releasing wastewater through wells 3 and 4.

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed over the wastewater say high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in the effluent are triggering invasive algae outbreaks that are killing coral.

Earthjustice attorney David Henkin says the county could be fined more than $100,000 for each day it has used the injection wells going back to 2007.

Mollway is expected to impose fines after an August trial.

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