State Rep. Michael Kahikina (D, Kalaeloa-Nanakuli) opposed a proposed landfill in his district during yesterday's public hearing held by the City Council Public Works Committee, headed by Councilman Rod Tam,.

Koko Crater
likely dumped
as landfill site

The Council must choose
a site by tomorrow
per a state panel's order

Six days after Koko Crater was floated as a possible landfill site, it seemed clear at a public hearing yesterday that the City Council is unlikely to choose it.

What's next

The City Council meets at 10 a.m. tomorrow in Honolulu Hale:
Issue: Choosing a landfill site is the 38th item on the morning agenda.
Agenda: The agenda can be seen at www.honolulu.gov/
Testimony: Those wishing to testify are asked to sign up by 10 a.m.
Online poll:What do you think of the City Council's handling of the landfill site issue? Cast your vote.

Councilman Rod Tam, who first mentioned Koko Crater at a news conference last Tuesday, pointed out that there are no written proposals to name it as a site at tomorrow's Council meeting -- from him or anyone else.

Still, a number of Hawaii Kai residents testified against the location yesterday at a public hearing before Tam's Public Works and Economic Development Committee.

State Rep. Bud Stonebraker (R, Hawaii Kai) called Koko Crater "completely inappropriate" as a landfill site for two reasons: It was already considered and rejected by a landfill search committee, and it was given to the city with the stipulation that it remain a nature preserve.

"I also have safety concerns about dump trucks coming into a residential neighborhood with children playing," Stonebraker said.

"Koko Crater is a preserve and a botanical garden," said Marian Grey. "I cannot even imagine trucks coming in and out on that two-lane road. The traffic is bad already."

"I wish to thank community people for bringing forth their ideas, although others criticize those ideas," Tam said to open the hearing. "I believe in the people's right to participate in our form of democracy so much that I, as chairman, allow those ideas to be discussed in the legislative process and take the chance to be criticized as the one who introduced those ideas."

The Council must name a site for Oahu's next landfill tomorrow, per an order of the state Land Use Commission. The deadline was set to ensure that the city would complete environmental studies and permitting in time to have a new landfill by May 2008, when the current permit for the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill expires.

On Nov. 19 the Public Works Committee chose by a 4-0 vote to recommend a 23-acre site in Campbell Industrial Park, next to the city's HPOWER waste-to-energy plant. The city owns the site and had slated it for recycling and high-technology solutions to waste management.

That surprise decision bypassed five finalist sites under consideration: Maili Quarry, Nanakuli, Makaiwa Gulch and the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill, all on the Leeward Coast, and Kapaa Quarry in Kailua.

Only one person testified against the Campbell Industrial Park site yesterday. Steve Perry of SWS Hawaii said he does not want his wholesale distribution company and its 50 employees to be located next to a landfill.

No representative of the city administration was at the hearing to provide testimony about the Campbell Industrial Park site. City Managing Director Ben Lee and Environmental Services Director Frank Doyle said last week that the site was not a good one.

"I wish to thank community people for bringing forth their ideas, although others criticize those ideas." --Rod Tam, City councilman

Waianae Coast residents opposing both a Nanakuli site and an expansion of the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill also spoke at yesterday's hearing.

"I want to make sure I'm on the record -- no more dumps in Nanakuli," said state Rep. Michael Kahikina (D, Nanakuli). Kahikina noted that although the Waianae Coast produces only about 7 percent of Oahu's trash, it is the resting place for all of it. He called on the City Council to "look toward the future and eliminate landfills."

John Kaopua promised that Nanakuli residents would sue the city if Nanakuli is chosen, citing discrimination against native Hawaiians and low-income residents.

Lori Watland questioned whether Council members are "deaf" to concerns about health risks from a Nanakuli landfill. "The voices of Waianae residents are not being heard," she said.

Nanakuli resident Kamaki Kanahele praised Tam's mention of Koko Crater as a possible landfill site -- for which he received criticism from Mayor Jeremy Harris and Councilman Charles Djou -- as "brilliant."

"It rustled some feathers and woke them up," Kanahele said, adding that he does not support a landfill in Koko Crater or anywhere else, but wants the city to pursue technologies he believes would eliminate the need for a landfill.

Jeff Stone, developer of the Ko Olina resort, said he owns three acres near Barbers Point Harbor that he will make available to high-technology solutions for Oahu's garbage or to prepare waste to be shipped to the mainland.

"I will not just sit here and say, 'Close Waimanalo Gulch, and we don't care what you do next.' We will be a part of the long-term solution," Stone said.



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