Ask the Mayor: What Can be Done About Construction Dust in Our Area?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.
Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.
Hi Mayor Arakawa,
Q: We live at Kīhei Villages along Pi‘ilani Highway, where there’s a new construction site across the highway; I believe it’s going to be a 600-unit subdivision.
During the last four months, there have been several loads of fill trucked in and spread out. As we all know, the trade winds blow pretty hard up through the valley, and prior to groundbreaking on this site we had the “normal” amount of dust blowing around.
Since this project has started, the dust has tripled; our condos are taking a beating with the dust/dirt blowing around as well as into the units’ interior living areas.
We have placed a county service request to review the issue. Well, from what I’ve seen, the matter seems to continue and this past week, the trade winds have been blowing extremely hard. We had to close all the windows to keep the majority of debris outside where it belongs. So I’m really not looking forward to opening our electricity bill either due to the need to run our AC units when we would normally have our windows open this time of year.
The interior of the condos are getting covered with the dirt/dust every day, and we have to do 3 to 4 hours of “deep-clean cleaning” every day. We’re at our wits’ end with this.
Isn’t there a law requiring water be applied to new/loose, fresh grubbing zones when dust is visible and blowing across several acres? I know when we apply for a grubbing permit, it is stressed to have water on site for “dust control,” which we fulfill to the max.
We ask you, what can be done? We are ready to submit cleaning bills to the developers or to the county. We hope to see something done with our concern/ issue ASAP.
Looking forward hearing back.
A: Yes, this is something that the County Public Works Department handles through the grading permit it issues. It would be impossible to totally eliminate dust, but the contractor should be doing everything reasonable to mitigate it.
Public Works staff have been notified about this dusty construction site and they have informed the contractor, who has implemented additional dust control measures.
If needed, homeowners may file a claim with the contractor.