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EPA awards Maui United Way $500K for cleanup efforts

GEORGE F. LEE / AUG. 18
                                Maui United Way will use the grant to assess potentially polluted environmental sites; develop area-wide cleanup and reuse plans; and conduct engagement activities with the communities potentially impacted.
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GEORGE F. LEE / AUG. 18

Maui United Way will use the grant to assess potentially polluted environmental sites; develop area-wide cleanup and reuse plans; and conduct engagement activities with the communities potentially impacted.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced an award of $500,000 to expedite the cleanup of contaminated properties on Maui.

The EPA selected Maui United Way as the recipient of the Brownfields community-wide grant, which is to be used to benefit communities in Lahaina, Kahului, and Wailuku.

“With this historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, the EPA is helping Maui transform polluted, abandoned sites into thriving community assets,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman in a news release. “These grants will not only provide resources to communities seeking to revitalize, but also provide stable, good-paying jobs in areas that have faced underinvestment for far too long.”

Maui United Way will use the grant to assess potentially polluted environmental sites; develop area-wide cleanup and reuse plans; and conduct engagement activities with the communities potentially impacted.

Priority sites, according to an EPA news release, include a former school, church, commercial district, brewery, temple, and homeless center destroyed by fires.

Maui United Way is also looking to clean up two dilapidated residential properties, a former gas station, three vacant lots, and two vacant and dilapidated commercial buildings.

The awards are part of President Biden’s $1.5 billion Investing in America agenda, which significantly boosted the amount of grants provided annually for the Brownfields Program.

Maui United Way Co-Director Lisa Grove said the nonprofit was grateful to be recipients of the grant.

“It is so critical to the revitalization of our economy while also helping to create healthier communities on Maui,” she said in the news release. “It supports our Lahaina ohana to inventory, assess, and plan for the cleanup of their properties necessary to create community. We know that actions taken in the next few years will determine our future for decades to come.”

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