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Maui Settles Lawsuit Over Streamwater Treatment Plant

Maui community groups Hui o Na Wai ‘Eha and Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Inc., represented by Earthjustice, and the County of Maui announced the settlement of a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed water treatment plant that would take millions of gallons a day of streamflows from Na Wai ‘Eha, “The Four Great Waters” of Maui. The community groups have been fighting a legal battle to restore flows to these waters, which are currently drained dry by private companies.

The community groups filed the EIS challenge in state court in Maui on June 21, 2010, seeking to prevent the Wai‘ale Treatment Facility project from going forward. Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., one of the major diverters, proposes to build the plant to further its private water and land development plans.

The county accepted A&B’s EIS for the project on April 23, 2010. The court settlement invalidated that acceptance.

“We should be focusing our attention on this historic opportunity to restore the native streams on Maui, instead of devising plans for private water and land development that will wipe out what makes Maui so special,” said Earthjustice attorney Isaac Moriwake.