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EPA approves restoration work of filled wetland area along the Hanalei River on Kauai

Release Date: 12/01/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(12/01/06) HONOLULU – Following through on a Clean Water Act order issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2004, a Kauai landowner recently restored sensitive wetlands adjacent to the Hanalei River that he had illegally filled in 2002 and 2003.

In June of 2004, the EPA ordered Ed Ben-Dor of Hanalei, Kauai, to remove all unauthorized wetland fill and restore the disturbed area into a functional wetland habitat. As required by the order, Ben-Dor replanted the wetland with native plant species, and will need to monitor the success of the restoration work for up to 5 years and submit regular monitoring reports to the EPA. The order also requires Ben-Dor to maintain a maintenance program to preserve the wetland

“We are pleased Mr. Ben-Dor has successfully completed the removal of soil and restoration phase in our order,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s director for water programs in the Pacific Southwest region. “The Hanalei Valley is an important wetlands resource in Hawai’i. It is the largest taro farming area in the state, a habitat for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds, provides flood water storage, and helps protect water quality.”

The EPA order cited violations of the Clean Water Act for Ben-Dor’s dredging and filling of wetlands in the flood plain of the Hanalei River below Princeville without a permit.

Wetlands provide a valuable habitat for endangered waterbirds, clean water that flows into the ocean, and reduce flood risks. Any dredge and fill work, realignment of any stream or wetland requires a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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