Hawai‘i State Representative Cynthia Thielen (R, 50th District: Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) submitted a memo today to Mayor Peter Carlisle stating that the Ameron Hawaii Quarry in Kailua should be not be on the City & County of Honolulu’s new landfill site list. The memo is a legal analysis which outlines five reasons why the Ameron Hawaii Quarry should be removed from the landfill list, citing Federal law and the impact on area residents and the construction industry.
“Installing a new Oahu municipal solid waste landfill site at Ameron Hawaii Quarry in Kailua would negatively impact the water quality in Kailua’s watershed and marsh lands, interfere with the U.S. Endangered Species Act’s purpose, threaten the health and safety of Kailua residents, and irreparably damage the construction industry,” stated Thielen.
The memo details the detrimental impact that a landfill would have on the Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh Complex, a designated Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention which recognized the Marsh as a core wetland habitat for endemic and endangered birds and containing significant cultural and environmental resources. Citing the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the high quantity of rainfall in the area, Representative Thielen points out the negative impact that runoff and leaching from a landfill would have on this significant wetland. Thielen also notes the proximity of five schools, a hospital, and numerous residences, all within one mile of the proposed landfill site.
“The best way to ensure that the environment and residential areas surrounding the Ameron Hawaii Quarry are protected from health and safety concerns is to avoid building a landfill at the Ameron site,” Thielen reiterated.
Representative Thielen observed that placing a landfill at the Ameron Hawaii Quarry site would have a significant impact on Hawaii’s construction industry. “Without Ameron Hawaii Quarry in Kailua we would not have enough Grade A rock to meet the local demand. This lack of material would have a significant impact on much-needed infrastructure upgrades and material costs.”
Currently, Ameron Hawaii Quarry is in the top 5 on the list of potential new landfill sites for Oahu. Thielen’s memo is a pointed, evidentiary statement that the quarry should not be on the list at all.