N. Shore runoff
cause revealed

A report addresses the
sources of muddy waters
near Kaunala Beach Lot

The North Shore subdivision owned by former gubernatorial candidate D.G. "Andy" Anderson was not the primary source of muddy runoff that flowed into the ocean last month, state inspectors concluded.

Inspection reports recently completed by the state's Clean Water Branch said properties surrounding the 19-acre Kaunala Beach Lot Subdivision contributed most of the muddy runoff while minor amounts came from the development site. But inspectors also found violations at the site that contributed to the runoff.

"I'm satisfied (with the report)," Anderson said.

The state conducted two inspections at the development earlier this month after a North Shore resident and members of the Sierra Club complained that runoff from the development flowed over the reef at the Backyards surf spot and near Sunset Beach during heavy rains.

"We're not denying that muddy runoff was coming from above the development site. But developers, especially developers building on oceanfront property, have the responsibility to not contribute anything," said Laura Hokunani Edmunds, coordinator of the Sierra Club's Blue Water Campaign.

"Their containment measures were not sufficient, and mud did run off the property and into the stream and ocean," said Edmunds. "They need to be held responsible."

Mike Tsuji, supervisor of the enforcement section of the Clean Water Branch, said there was minor evidence of soil runoff observed on the site's sidewalks. Other sources mauka of the site were primary contributors of the runoff, he said.

State inspectors concluded that the 19-acre Kaunala Beach Lot Subdivision was not the primary source of muddy runoff that flowed into the ocean. The photo shows where Kaunala Stream flows into the ocean.

Officials found a broken surfboard and other trash in an adjacent stream that is believed to have come from properties above Kamehameha Highway.

"There is people dumping trash in there from upstream," he said.

But inspectors found that fences meant to stop silt from running off the development were overwhelmed by heavy rains. Storm water was also able to run from a sidewalk construction area along Kamehameha Highway and another area that leads to Kaunala Stream. Anderson said contractors will begin to use sandbags around a park culvert to be built at the site.

Contract workers repaired the silt fencing, cleaned debris in the drain filters on the highway and installed protection devices to the storm drains on the site's road, but state officials said more work is needed. "They had some (silt fencing) up, but they need a little more work," said Tsuji. "There are still violations ongoing."

Violations include contractors who had started working on the storm drain system before a permit was issued and inadequate fencing used to control runoff.

Inspectors are expected to return to the development site to determine if project owners had corrected all violations. Tsuji said no enforcement action has been determined.

"We're following the guidelines that the Clean Water Branch suggested to us," said Leonard Leong, vice president of Royal Contracting, the main contractor for the project's road and sewer line.

Inspectors had issued a verbal warning of their findings to the project foreman. State inspectors issued a previous warning in May after they discovered that fencing was not properly installed. The problem was fixed within two weeks, according to Tsuji.


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