Processing Magazine

Community groups sue Maui County over Clean Water Act violations

April 17, 2012

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Four community groups have filed a lawsuit in federal court against Maui County, Hawaii, for alleged Clean Water Act violations at a wastewater treatment plant, Wausau Daily Herald reported.

The groups claim millions of gallons of wastewater injected into wells at the facility each day surface offshore of Kahekili Beach Park, killing coral and triggering outbreaks of invasive algae.

Earthjustice filed the complaint Monday on behalf of Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, West Maui Preservation Association and Sierra Club-Maui Group.

"We notified Maui County last June that its Lahaina facility was damaging the reef and operating illegally, in hope that the county would voluntarily seek the required permit for wastewater discharges from the injection wells," said Earthjustice attorney Caroline Ishida. "Unfortunately, it apparently takes an enforcement action to get the county to do anything, which is why we''re not seeking relief from the court."