Firm needs permit to move marsh dirt
What ever happened to orders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that dirt placed in Hamakua Marsh wetlands in Kailua would have to be removed?
Answer: Coluccio Construction Co. is waiting for a city grading permit to remove the dirt, company supervisor Bob Partridge said.
Once that is obtained, it will take the company about two weeks to remove dirt it had placed on Kaneohe Ranch Co. land on Hamakua Drive, Partridge said.
Coluccio was using the land as a staging area for Kailua sewer repair projects as far back as 2002.
Kailua residents complained about the dirt placement in a wetland area, which led to an EPA investigation and requirement that the dirt be removed.
Discharging dredged or fill material and creating or realigning drainage ditches in wetlands or streams requires a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit, which Coluccio and Kaneohe Ranch did not obtain, said Wendy Wiltse, an EPA environmental scientist. However, correcting the problem requires only a city grading permit, which the companies have applied for.
The area in question is less than an acre.
Four endangered Hawaiian water birds -- the coot, stilt, duck and moorhen -- frequent the nearby Hamakua Marsh, which has undergone significant habitat restoration efforts in the last six years.
This update was written by Diana Leone.
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