Interview with representatives of Earth Justice & Hawaii Wildlife Fund

As we get closer to the Lahaina Injection Wells case appearing before the US Supreme Court, it’s important to learn and know the facts. Please listen to this interview courtesy of our friends at Island Environment 360. Issac Moriwake, Managing attorney for Earth Justice and Hannah Bernard Executive Director and co-founder of Hawaii Wildlife Fund discuss the County of Maui’s violation of the Clean Water Act and pending Supreme Court hearing.

From Island Environment 360:

Very powerful interview with Issac Moriwake, Managing attorney for Earth Justice and Hannah Bernard Executive Director and cofounder of Hawaii Wildlife Fund, discussing the County of Maui’s violation of the Clean Water Act and pending Supreme Court hearing.

I find it ironic that the latest press release from the Mayor’s office indicates this is a matter of “home rule” when they, the County of Maui, is taking this to the Supreme Court, after losing twice in Hawaii courts.

The County’s press release demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the issues. The Safe Drinking Water Act (which they are trying to operate under) does not protect the reefs, never has, never will. The Clean Water Act does. The SDWA and UIC permits don’t regulate the chemicals and nutrients and other pollutants that can kill the reef, the standards are just not the same, they’re designed for human consumption standards. Reefs are more sensitive.

Citing increased herbivorous fish biomass as a measure of health for the reefs is fallacious. The Herbivore Recovery Zone was established as a result of the algae blooms caused by the injection wells. Meanwhile, the coral reef health is declining, dead zones remain and increase in size.

Their only defense? The cost to clean up their act. This after 10 years of refusing to address the issue, spending $4.3 million in court costs, and refusing settlement offers.

Please attend the County Council Committee meeting on the matter, 9am, Tuesday September 3rd in Council Chambers. It’s time to tell the County to stop fighting this in court, settle the matter and not allow our oceans to be a dumping ground.