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We Need to be Better Stewards of Our Resources

June 17, 2014
Tamara Paltin - • Lahaina , Maui Weekly

We live on an island. We need to be better stewards of our resources.

In 2008, when the EPA came to Lahaina, the community supported water reuse over injection wells. Water is a valuable resource. To "not take a resource and use it where it can do the most good and have a very strong benefit is ludicrous," Mayor Alan Arakawa said. But the mayor has not listened to his own advice, the science or the citizens.

The mayor spent hundreds of thousands of our dollars on a Mainland-based attorney instead of beginning the process of phasing out injection wells.

Recently, a federal judge has ruled against the Arakawa administration. The last four years have been a big waste of our time and resources. Instead of using that money to improve the quality of life for our residents, the mayor spent it on attorneys.

If the county appeals and loses this federal case again, we will be paying millions of dollars to the U.S. Treasury in fines for violating the Clean Water Act and also we will also have to pay to fix what should have been addressed six years ago.

Maui Nui is at an important crossroads. Much growth has already been approved, especially in West Maui, and we need leaders who will work to install critical infrastructure quickly and efficiently.

I am a keiki o ka 'aina, a mother, a wife, a lifeguard and an emergency medical responder in Maui County. I advocate for collaboration, solutions and change. I ask you to please "Vote Paltin" in the mayoral primary on Saturday, Aug. 9.

Editor's note: The federal district court in Honolulu earlier this month ruled that Maui County's use of injection wells at its Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility violates the federal Clean Water Act. The court will impose civil penalties for the county's violations following a hearing set for March 17, 2015. "Maximum penalties in this case already exceed $100 million, and the meter is ticking at a rate of over $100,000 per day," said Earthjustice Attorney David Henkin.



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