Maui water company agrees to make significant system upgrades in settlement with state
OLOWALU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A West Maui company that admitted it took too much water from a stream has agreed to improve the community’s water system.
“There was no intent to violate the law. We apologize,” said Glenn Tremble of Olowalu Water Company.
After talks for weeks, the private water company agreed with CWRM on Tuesday to make half a million dollars worth of repairs and improvements to Olowalu’s water system as part of a settlement.
The state recently threatened Olowalu Water Company with a $470,050 fine for taking too much water from a stream between January 2019 and October 2022.
“I like fixed reservoir way better than cash, so that’s very acceptable compromise to me,” said Neil Hannahs, a member of the Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM).
“Fines often go into like this black hole of the general fund, and it doesn’t ultimately end up benefiting the areas where the violation occurred,” said West Maui water advocate Kai Nishiki. ”I believe that this settlement does that.”
Meanwhile, not everyone was happy with the agreement.
West Maui resident Kekai Keahi said the state let the company off too easy given its history of violating water rules.
“You dismissed all that and you enabled them by not coming down hard on them and saying, you knew your responsibilities, you knew your obligations, and you continue to do what you did for the past four to five years,” Keahi said.
The commission said if Olowalu Water Company fails to comply, they will pursue the fine again.
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