Cultural Artifacts or Former Burial Sites
Updated over a week ago

Does the debris contain remains? If so, how will it be managed in an appropriate and respectful manner?

While ash from Kula, Olinda and Makawao did not contain remains, ash from Lahaina may contain remains which were unidentifiable by search crews. Ash and debris from Lahaina is removed from properties under oversight by trained cultural monitors hired by USACE. The ash and debris is being transported to a temporary debris storage (TDS) site near Lahaina.

What if cultural artifacts or former burial sites are uncovered during the cleanup?

All debris team contractors are trained by cultural observers to be aware of any cultural, historic, and archaeological resources in Lahaina and will support efforts to protect these important resources. USACE employs cultural observers and archaeological monitors to oversee all work during debris removal efforts. When artifacts or former burial sites (historic properties) are found or uncovered, FEMA follows an approved Archeological Treatment Plan (ATP) to address any inadvertent discoveries. Cultural observers and archaeological monitors are onsite for each parcel that needs monitoring as outlined in the ATP for all stages of Phase 2 operations.

Is it possible to deposit culturally sensitive or ash known to contain remains separately from the rest of the debris?

Remains and cultural items that are identifiable will be managed properly in coordination with the cultural monitors, however, it is very difficult to distinguish remains or other artifacts when debris materials are entirely ash.

What will be done to minimize impacts to the environment and any culturally significant items (i.e., petroglyphs, Iwi) at the site?

The State Historic Preservation Officer and local Cultural Directors will be consulted prior to debris removal. If any such areas are identified, efforts will be made to avoid or conserve any cultural artifacts or areas of significance in the area. In addition, cultural monitors will be onsite during debris removal activities to ensure any Iwi or artifacts that may be discovered are properly conserved or managed to respect the Native Hawaiian Rights of Olowalu families.

How will the containment area be built to be protective of human health, wildlife, agricultural lands, marine life, and the environment?

The containment area will be built to stringent design standards intended to completely encapsulate the ash and debris between heavy plastic and clay composite liners (base and final cover) specifically designed for this purpose. Debris (plastic, dust) will be contained within the site and prevented from blowing onto adjacent lands or the ocean. In addition, regular supervision and maintenance to remove leachate to mitigate any potential leaking of contaminants will be performed. Finally, groundwater monitoring wells will be installed around the landfill to detect any changes to groundwater conditions. The groundwater is over 100โ€™ below the bottom liner of the containment facility. The nearest well is over a mile away and only used for irrigation purposes.

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