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Judge finds Maui County breaking law with Lahaina wastewater

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Maui County says it has applied for permits to release partially treated wastewater into wells close to Lahaina’s coast.

Managing Director Keith Regan said in a statement Tuesday the county would prefer that hotels and resorts use the treated wastewater. But he says the county needs to expand its delivery systems for that to happen.

He says the county is doing that by building more distribution lines and water tanks.

Regan responded to a Friday ruling from U.S. District Court Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway saying the county’s wastewater release violates the Clean Water Act.

Plaintiffs say the wastewater is triggering invasive algae outbreaks that are killing coral.

Earthjustice attorney David Henkin says the county could be fined more than $100,000 each day it has used the injection wells dating to 2007.

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