Letter from EPA In Response to Call for Better Regulation of Wastewater Discharge from Hū Honua
"Attached is a letter I got earlier this year from Alexis Strauss at EPA Region 9 on this issue of getting HDOH to shift review from UIC to NPDES permitting review where a direct hydrologic connection is likely. Again, this is consistent with the official position of EPA and DOJ in their brief before the 9th Circuit in the Lahaina decision. I would urge you to reach out to EPA in regard to the permitting for Hu Honua.
While HDOH might be inclined to fall for the de minimus argument as a way around the Mollway decision, EPA may take a different position, especially if you can bring in the endangered turtle issue. This should be a trigger for an EIS. The materials from Hu Honua already make the argument for a direct hydrologic connection. Bring this to the attention of EPA.
EPA always retains final authority for the Clean Water Act even when HDOH is the primary for administering enforcement in Hawaii.
Finally, EPA should be made aware of offsite environmental impacts that have not been properly reviewed such as the disposal of ash generated by the project. All that ash being hauled over to the West Hawaii Landfill will significantly impact the lifespan and may require additional changes to how it manages waste under RCRA, which EPA administers. It is quite amazing to me that Hawaii County has been silent on this."