U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirms its investigating potentia - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers investigates potential violations at Punaluu Wharf

NAALEHU, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed it's working with the state and county to investigate potential violations or impacts to the ocean at the historic Punaluu Wharf in Kau.

It's in the "initial stages of gathering information," wrote Dino W. Buchanan, Chief, Public Affairs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Honolulu District in a statement.

"The Corps plans to send a regulatory team on a yet-to-be-determined date for an on-site assessment of the affected area," he wrote.

Last month, the owner of Hang Loose Boat Tours, Simon Valej, was seen and filmed by community members using a back hoe to allegedly excavate the wharf for a lava tour operation. Community members say the wharf is culturally sensitive because of a nearby heiau and burial sites. The boat owner insists he was only cleaning the area.

The landowner, S M Investment Properties, which is a sister company to Roberts Hawaii, said it did not approve of the work and the leasee is responsible for following government regulations.

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