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Click here to visit MauiRecovers.org, Maui County's comprehensive source of information and resources for survivors of the Hawai‘i wildfires.

Latest News

USACE, EPA, partners working to address water quality concerns at King Kamehameha III Elementary School
4/7/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and state and county officials are actively working to address water quality...
USACE reaches milestone in Hawai‘i wildfire debris removal mission
4/4/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleared debris from the 500th residential property within Lahaina, Hawai’i, April 2...
April 1st a day for Lahaina’s young scholars to remember
4/1/2024
April 1, 2024 marks the first day that King Kamehameha III Elementary School students attend classes at the temporary replacement campus. The Lahaina school, damaged beyond repair in the Aug. 8, 2023,...
USACE begins Phase 2 commercial debris removal operations in Lahaina
3/27/2024
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor began hauling debris from commercial properties impacted by the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfires in the town of Lahaina, Hawai’i, March 22. This begins Phase 2 of the...
Temporary King Kamehameha III Elementary School Campus Dedicated March 25
3/25/2024
A blessing and dedication ceremony was hosted March 25, by the Hawaii Department of Education with federal, state and local partners coming together to celebrate the opening of a temporary replacement...
USACE completes vessel debris removal operations, reaches major milestone
3/21/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers debris removal mission on Maui reached an important milestone on March 15. Under the management and supervision of USACE, contractors completed the removal of vessel...
USACE Transfers Lahaina Temporary Elementary School to Hawaii State Department of Education
2/27/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is pleased to announce the successful installation and turnover of the temporary King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina to the Hawai‘i State Department of...
Historic building specialists visit Lahaina National Historic Landmark District, survey structures impacted by Hawaiʻi Wildfires
1/24/2024
A specialized team consisting of a structural engineer, historical architect and historian assisted the Hawaiʻi Wildfires Mission by assessing structures in or adjacent to the Lahaina National...
USACE continues the Hawaii Wildfires Recovery Mission
1/12/2024
More than five months after the August 8 wildfires in Hawaii ravaged large portions of Maui including Lahaina, the former capital of the Hawaiian Empire, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues...
JFO, RFO, EFO one mission; one Ohana – USACE employees deploy to assist Maui recovery from the wildfires
12/28/2023
When fire ravished the historic towns of Lahaina and Kula, Hawai’i, on the island of Maui in August 2023, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was one of the first agencies on the site to assist...
Lahaina wildfire debris cleanup soon moving into Phase 2
12/26/2023
The Consolidated Debris Removal Program in Lahaina, Maui for the cleanup from the Hawaii Wildfires will soon move in to Phase 2 of the mission which will involve the removal of fire-related debris...
Hawaii wildfires leave lithium battery hazard in debris
12/21/2023
The wildfires in Hawaii that resulted in loss of life and property on the island of Maui not only left Lahaina and Kula with fire debris, but also left properties with household hazardous waste or...
Breadth of GIS science capabilities aiding Hawaiʻi Wildfire response
12/9/2023
A combined federal, state, and local disaster such as the 2023 Hawaiʻi Wildfire mission has a lot of moving parts. There are temporary power, critical public facility, temporary housing, and debris...
USACE making steady progress with temporary school in Lahaina
12/6/2023
LAHAINA, Hawai‘i -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is progressing with the construction of the temporary elementary school campus in Lahaina. Crews have completed clearing and grading the site...
Soil sample collection begins in Hawaiʻi Wildfire debris removal mission
11/30/2023
The first soil samples were collected at a property site cleared of debris by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Kula, marking a milestone with the Hawaiʻi Wildfires Debris Mission, Nov. 18, 2023.If...
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating with state and local officials to identify and fix the water quality issue identified April 5. The initial indication is stagnant water that was not cycling through the system in the weeks between handover to the Hawai‘i Department of Education and the beginning of school on April 1. Water experts from a variety of agencies are currently flushing out the entire system and will test it once it is complete.
One of the 500 properties in Maui which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleared of wildfire debris by April 2. There were approximately 1,600 properties impacted by the wildfires Aug. 8, 2023. Once a property is cleared of debris, USACE staff will then test the soil to ensure it is safe. Once safe and erosion control installed, USACE staff notify County of Maui that the property is complete and ready to begin the rebuilding process. (Photo by John Daves)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Recovery Field Office Commander Col. Eric Swenson is joined by parents, community members and passersby to welcome back students as they were dropped off for their first day of school at the new King Kamehameha III Elementary School temporary campus installed by USACE. Swenson waved at smiling kids and parents thrilled to get to this milestone in the recovery process.
The first truckload of fire debris from a commercial property was hauled to the Temporary Debris Storage Site in West Maui, March 22, 2024. This was the first commercial property debris removal operation for commercial property impacted by the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfires. (USACE photo by Edward Rivera)
A Hawaiian dedication ceremony, which included pū and ‘oli, for the temporary King Kamehameha III Elementary School led by cultural practitioner Kaniala Masoe of Maui. (USACE photo by Makenzie Leonard)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor removes debris from a residence in Lahaina, Hawai‘i, Feb. 1. USACE is overseeing the debris removal mission under a Federal Emergency Management Agency mission assignment which is part of a coordinated effort with the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, Maui County and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up areas of the island affected by the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfires. (Photo by Erin Jimenez)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors conduct vessel debris removal operations near the harbor in Lahaina, Hawai‘i, Jan. 27. To ensure debris removal operations are conducted safely, there is significant coordination and safety planning between USACE and the contractor performing the work. USACE is overseeing the debris removal mission under a Federal Emergency Management Agency assigned mission, which is part of a coordinated effort with the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, Maui County and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up areas of the island affected by the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfires. (Photo by Robert DeDeaux)

Debris Call Center

Debris Call Center (877) 214-9117

Fire Debris Removal

According to the Pacific Disaster Center, the August 2023 Maui Wildfires Disaster damaged or destroyed more than 2,200 Maui properties. The cleanup is requiring a coordinated fire debris removal process that includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the state of Hawaii and the county of Maui. The cleanup process includes two phases. Phase 1 is removal of hazardous materials and Phase 2 involves the removal of other fire-related debris.

The county of Maui will oversee priorities during the fire cleanup while working in partnership with state and federal agencies who are here to support the community with this process.

Consolidated Debris Removal Program

Consolidated Debris Removal Program

In coordination with the County of Maui and the State of Hawai‘i, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assigned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to survey, remove and dispose of hazardous material from all properties impacted by the wildfires in Lahaina, Kula and Olinda.

Phase 1 of the debris removal process is the removal of hazardous materials that may impact human health, animals and the environment through exposure. Hazardous materials could include compressed gas cylinders, pesticides, paints, oils, fertilizers, ammunition and batteries (including lithium-ion batteries, particularly household solar battery storage systems). These items can contain hazardous ingredients and require special handling and disposal. For this effort, an initial EPA team will survey each property for work conditions, then a second EPA team will remove hazardous materials. A sign will be placed on each property indicating the status. 

EPA is deeply aware and respectful of the immense cultural significance of the area. EPA has partnered with Native Hawaiian organization Nā 'Aikāne o Maui to hire local cultural monitors and archaeologists familiar with the community of Lahaina to oversee and advise on EPA’s Phase I work.  

EPA has developed an online resource tool that provides information on the process of hazardous materials removal and to answer questions on progress and completion status. For more information, visit Story Maps here.

Phase 2 is the removal of the remaining structural ash and debris as well as soil testing to ensure the site is clean, safe for rebuilding and free of potentially leached toxins. Phase 2 cleanup can only initiate after Phase I hazardous materials removal is complete.

The County of Maui, State of Hawai‘i, FEMA and local officials will coordinate with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to offer a government-sponsored debris removal program. The program will allow the Corps to conduct the safe removal and handling of fire-damaged debris from destroyed properties. Cultural awareness of the impacted communities is a top priority for the Corps. Cultural monitors guide the entire process to ensure outside agencies respect the community, culture and recovery efforts. 

To obtain service through the government-sponsored program, a property owner must complete a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form  to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clean up a property. No removal of fire-damaged material will begin on private property without the permission of the property owner. The County is working to finalize the ROE form and open a Debris Removal ROE Processing Center in the coming days. County staff will be on hand at the ROE Processing Center to assist residents with filling out the appropriate paperwork for the voluntary fire debris removal program.

In exchange for the debris removal performed through the government-sponsored program, the property owner agrees that any insurance proceeds in their homeowner's insurance policy designated for debris removal will be assigned to the government agency managing the debris removal process. Property owners are not required to pay any additional money to the government agency other than designated debris proceeds in their policies. In no event shall the amount of insurance proceeds paid to the government agency exceed the costs charged by its contractor. In the event a property needs additional debris removal after the government agency's contractor has completed the removal under the ROE, all expenses incurred by a property owner for such additional removal will be paid first, and the remainder (if any) will be turned over to the managing government agency.

Property owners who choose not to participate in the government-sponsored debris removal program must hire a private contractor to remove fire debris and clean up properties. Private debris removal is done at the homeowner’s expense and must meet or exceed the standards set by local, state and federal agencies. This includes compliance with all legal requirements for disposal, authorized disposal sites, best management practices for activities on site, proper transportation and documentation of debris, soil testing and erosion control. The County is currently working to develop the process, guidance documents and forms for private fire debris removal and will have the information published soon.

Preparing now to sign up for the government-sponsored debris removal program

The County of Maui is working with federal and state partners in a program to facilitate safe removal and handling of burn debris and ash. To obtain this service, homeowners must complete the proper paperwork to allow these agencies to clean up their properties. To learn more about the Right-of-Entry process please review the following: 

Documents and information needed for submittal of the Debris Removal Right-of-Entry Permit:

This ROE can be submitted to ROE@mauirecovers.org OR send the physical copy of the ROE and accompanying documents to:

Public Works Department
Attn: ROE intake
200 S. High Street
Wailuku, HI 96793

What is the process for cleanup and removal of fire debris?

Fire debris removal is broken down into two phases:

Phase 1: Hazardous Materials Removal is the removal of hazardous materials that may impact human health, animals and the environment through exposure. In coordination with the County of Maui and the State of Hawai‘i, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assigned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to survey, remove and dispose of hazardous material from all properties impacted by the wildfires in Lahaina, Kula and Olinda.

Hazardous materials could include compressed gas cylinders, pesticides, paints, oils, fertilizers, ammunition and batteries (including lithium-ion batteries, particularly household solar battery storage systems). These items can contain hazardous ingredients and require special handling and disposal.

Phase 2:  Fire Debris Removal is the removal of the remaining structural ash and debris and may include soil testing. The County of Maui, State of Hawai‘i, FEMA and local officials will coordinate with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to offer a Consolidated Debris Removal Program. The program will allow the Corps to conduct the safe removal and handling of fire-damaged debris from destroyed properties. 

A private fire debris removal process will be established for those who want to opt out of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program. The County is currently working to develop the process, guidance documents and forms for private contractor fire debris removal and will have the information published soon.

Is participation in both Phase 1 and 2 of the debris removal process mandatory?

Yes, fire-impacted properties with eligible debris are required to complete both Phase I and II of the program.

For Phase 1, all properties are required to have hazardous materials and waste removed. These items can be hazardous and require special handling and disposal. The EPA will complete this process for all fire-impacted properties. Phase 1 of the Program is being conducted at no cost to property owners.

Phase 2 debris removal by the Corps is optional; however, properties that opt out of this option are still required to provide for the timely removal of hazardous debris fields, and deadlines will be set by the County. Removal by a private contractor is authorized but must be done at the homeowner’s expense, and work done must meet or exceed the standards set by local, state and federal agencies. This includes compliance with all legal requirements for handling, disposal at authorized disposal sites, soil sampling and transportation. In addition, best management practices must be utilized along with work activity documentation and erosion control. 

What debris is eligible for Phase 2 of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program?

Agreements are still being finalized, however it is expected that Phase II will include debris and ash removal related to any structures on residential properties that are at least 120 square feet. Driveways will be retained as much as possible, both for possible reuse and also to serve as a staging area for debris removal and rebuilding equipment. In many cases, concrete driveways have been weakened as a result of the heat from the fire and may crack easily during this phase.

How will I know that the process has started and completed?

Phase I is currently underway; EPA will post a sign on each property when hazardous waste removal is complete, and will also notify the broader community when hazardous materials removal is completed in an entire neighborhood. View EPA’s online resource tool, which provides information on their process, progress and completion status: bit.ly/EPAprogress    

Once a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form is signed for Phase 2, Army Corps employees will contact homeowners that are enrolled in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program via phone 24-48 hours in advance to provide notice of work start times. The Corps’ contractor is required to provide the Corps a formal report of completion. The Corps will provide those reports to the county, and the county will notify homeowners. A Phase 2 map, showing progress, will be published once work gets underway.

How much will Phase 2 cost?

If you had insurance in effect at the time of the wildfire that provides coverage for debris removal, it is required that those funds, if not used for rebuilding, go toward reimbursement of Program costs. In most cases, the cost of debris removal will be greater than the insurance available. Reimbursement amount will not exceed the costs of debris removal on your specific property. If coverage for debris removal is not a separate insurance category, any reimbursement for debris removal will be limited to the unused benefit amount (if any) in that coverage category after the residence is rebuilt. If the full amount of general coverage is used for rebuilding, you will not be responsible for any reimbursement.

If you participate in Phase 2 of the program, we recommend that you consult with your insurance carrier to confirm how much is dedicated to debris removal. If your site will require private debris removal in addition to what is covered under Phase 2 of the Consolidated Debris Removal Program, you can use your debris insurance proceeds to cover those costs, and will only be expected to provide the remainder (if any) to reimburse the Program. If you do not have insurance the Program will be provided at no cost. 

How do I sign up for Phase 2 of the Debris Removal Program?

Property owners must sign up by completing a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form. No removal of non-hazardous, fire-damaged material will begin on private property without the permission of the property owner. 

 

Critical Public Facilities: Temporary Elementary School

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received a mission assignment Sept. 13 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support the State of Hawai‘i and the state Department of Education to design and oversee the installation of a temporary elementary school campus for the Lahaina community. The site will serve as an interim solution after the loss of King Kamehameha III Elementary School in the Aug. 8 wildfires. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our Critical Public Facilities experts are proud to partner with the state on this important project and to deliver for the children and community of Lahaina. The base contract for $53.7 million was awarded to Pono Aina Management, LLC, of Waianae, Hawai‘i, on Nov. 4, 2023 with the Notice to Proceed issued Nov. 20, 2023. We anticipate that the temporary school will be handed over to the Department of Education for furnishing and installation of telecommunication equipment by the end of February 2024.

Consolidated Process for Temporary Elementar School Installation

 

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working in partnership with local, state and federal responders to the Hawai‘i wildfires. USACE personnel and resources are deployed, and we are coordinating our efforts with partners in the affected areas. Though USACE brings unique capabilities to emergency responses, we are just one small piece of a much larger Army and Department of Defense team working to support the community and our partners.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is dedicated to minimizing risks to public safety and respecting the people, culture and environment of Hawai‘i.

At this time, our subject matter experts have been working under FEMA mission assignments to support critical public facilities by designing and overseeing the installation of a temporary school, as well as debris planning and response missions. At the outset of the disaster, our temporary power team also provided generator power to affected areas across Maui.

Our hearts go out to all who have been impacted by this disaster, and we are committed to leveraging our experience, resources and outreach to help the communities heal and recover. They can rest assured work involving our debris removal mission on private property will not begin until it is agreed upon by residents and business owners who opt-in to the program. We encourage checking this page often for updates and critical information.

Contact Information

Maui Disaster Support Call Center
Provided by the State of Hawai‘i and Maui County as a central assistance hub for community members affected by the Hawai‘i wildfires.
(808) 727-1550
Available 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
 
Contracting Division
 
Small Business Office
(808) 835-4020
sb.poh@usace.army.mil
 
General Inquiries for the

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(808) 835-4003
CEPOH-PA@usace.army.mil

Members of the Media
(808) 835-4062

Media

To obtain photos, videos and b-roll packages, visit our media portal at https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/USACE-HD.