The state board approved a variance for a 1005-unit Moiliili tower that will provide over 50% of the units to low-income families. DPP has first right of refusal if a affordable-unit condo is sold within the first ten years according to the agreement.
A retired DPP plans examiner pleaded guilty to accepting $100,000 in bribes to pre-screen plans and expedite permit approvals. The examiner set up a business to help accept bribes and told the FBI that the $100,000 was a loan from an architect. The examiner had retired in 2017 and was indicted March 17, 2021. The architect pleaded guilty on April 7, 2021, for paying more than $89,000 in bribes. The architect will be sentenced on December 1st and the examiner will be sentenced on March 9, 2023.
The Board of Water Supply has started looking into methods to remove fuel contamination from wells to provide safe drinking water should the pollution spread from the Red Hill Shaft. Treatment technologies include gravity separation, biologically active filtration, ozonation, ultraviolet oxidation, granulation activated carbon, dissolved air floatation, and coagulation and flocculation. One method may not be sufficient to resolve the contamination alone since multiple types of fuel have leaked since the fuel tanks were built. The treatment study is scheduled for a 2023 completion.
The Navy’s water woes continue as a water main break on a 36-inch line serving 90,000 residents forced service-members to boil their water to make it safe to drink. The Navy did not have a repair timeline in place claiming the repair is “complicated.” On October 17th, a fourth water main broke and the Navy announced that it would delay defueling the Red Hill fuel tanks as a result. The Navy’s struggles to maintain its drinking water infrastructure begs for a Board of Water Supply management takeover.
The military started unpacking 1 million gallons of fuel from pipelines in preparation of draining the Red Hill Fuel Tanks on October 25th, two weeks after water main breaks forced 90,000 families to boil tap water. The procedure allows the military to repair, modify, and enhance the pipelines to remove the fuel as safely as possible. The procedure took about six days even though fuel movement took about 12 hours to complete. The remainder of the time involved putting safety measures in place. The 3.5-mile pipeline is gravity driven and engineers will use pumps to remove any residual fuel from the pipes. The tanks currently hold 104 million gallons of fuel and the Navy plans on emptying the tanks by June 2024. The Navy plans on closing the facility in 2027 after it cleans the sludge and other waste left in the tanks and pipelines after the fuel is drained and cleaning up the petroleum contamination in the soil and groundwater. The Navy hopes to consult with the community for alternatives to the site for nonfuel purposes such as a hydroelectric plant.
Mauna Loa is showing signs of a new eruption after 38 years of quiet. Elevated seismic activity and ground swelling suggest that magma may be filling the mountain. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory started issuing daily updates on 10/6/2022. 40-50 small earthquakes have been shaking the mountain daily at a rate of two to three per hour. The Hawaii County of Civil Defense has been helping the state develop an evacuation plan should the mountain erupt. The lava is fast moving, and it only took three hours to reach the Kona coast in 1950. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks has closed the summit since evacuations are very difficult at an elevation of 14,000 feet. Residents around the volcano have been encouraged to pack a “go” bag in case of an eruption. Here is a link to the national park services site for the most recent updates.