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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 16, 2003

Ala Wai dredging awaits final OK

Advertiser Staff

A public meeting to discuss the final and most controversial phase of the Ala Wai Canal dredging set for Monday has been canceled after the state Department of Land and Natural Resources did not receive a necessary permit from the Health Department to proceed with the work.

A new meeting to discuss the solid-waste management permit will be scheduled in 20 to 30 days by the Health Department. Public testimony will be heard.

State Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, D-13th (Kalihi, Nu'uanu), said several legislators convinced the Health Department to hold the public meeting before issuing the permit and to make sure the hazardous materials are properly treated.

At that meeting the DLNR will detail plans for dredging, transporting and placing approximately 1,800 cubic yards of material from the final 400-foot-long section of the canal near Kapahulu Avenue.

Under a plan approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the dredged materials will be taken to the airport's reef runway, dumped into a lined pit, dried and then mixed with a cement binder. It would then serve as structural fill at the airport.

Officials say that material will likely contain pollutants including chlordane.

Work began Aug. 22, 2002, on dredging the two-mile canal to a depth of 6 to 12 feet. American Marine Corp. won the $7.4 million contract to remove two decades of sediment and debris that have left the canal only inches deep in sections.