Maui County off hook for water on Molokai
WAILUKU » Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares said she is pleased with an amended order that doesn't require the county to take over water and wastewater systems now operated by Molokai Ranch.
The company has threatened to terminate services on Molokai at the end of August, because of financial considerations.
In response, the state Department of Health issued an order for the county to take steps to take over the services. Tavares had objected, and the dispute led to hearings that ended this week.
On Thursday, department hearings officer Thomas Rack issued the amended order that said the county should be the lead agency in assessing what is needed to provide the services to affected West Molokai residents. Rack has also designated the county the lead agency in developing emergency plans to provide alternative services.
The amended order directs the county to work in conjunction with state agencies and to invite appropriate federal agencies to participate.