Developer Pflueger responding to EPA request

North shore landowner James Pflueger’s attorney said the retired O’ahu car agency owner is responding to a Environment Protection Agency request.

The EPA is calling for corrective action to halt discharging of stormwater into streams from unpermitted grading at a construction site near the Kaloko Reservoir on north Kaua’i.

In a news release, Honolulu attorney William Tam said Pflueger Properties has undertaken no major work by the reservoir since getting a notice from the EPA and the state Department of Health in June.

The notice was tied to runoff – the result of heavy winter rainfall – that flowed last November down a hillside from a Pflueger construction site and around a home in Pila’a Bay and into the ocean.

The runoff partially damaged the structure and degraded the coral reef and shoreline water along the coast at Pila’a.

Since then Pflueger has implemented a multi-million dollar remediation plan that won support from Kaua’i County and Amy Marvin, whose family’s home along the coast at Pila’a was damage by mud from the runoff.

That issue is unrelated to the latest EPA action, Tam said.

In response to the latest EPA actions, Tam said Pflueger Properties:

– has halted land use activities by the reservoir.

– has hired a professional engineering firm to identify unstable and erodible soils.

– plans to implement a revegetation program.

EPA has claimed Pflueger failed to apply for a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, under the federal Clean Water Act, for the Ka Loko site, which is located mauka of Kuhio Highway and Pila’a Bay.

The EPA contends the stormwater runoff from this construction site must have a permit and meet water quality standards.

Runoff discharged from the site for allegedly 250 or more days between January 1998 and July 2002, based on data from a rain gauge in Kilauea, the EPA said.

In all , five acres ha been disturbed by the construction activities, the EPA contends.

Storm-related runoff from construction activities at Ka Loko Reservoir flowed into the reservoir, a tributary of Waiakalua Reservoir, Waiakalua Stream and the Pacific Ocean, EPA said.

In addition, runoff from the reservoir’s plateau may also have flowed into the Kalua’a, Moloa’a and Waipake streams and then into the ocean, EPA said.

In 1997, Kaua’i County issued two notices of grading violations to Pflueger for work at the Ka Loko site. The county sent a second notice this past year.

Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and mailto:lchang@pulitzer.net

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