Decommissioning of Lihu‘e mill on schedule

LIHU‘E — Work on the decommissioning of the Lihu‘e Sugar Mill is on schedule and should be completed by the end of September, said Keith Roylance, the operations manager of NCM Contracting Group, during a monthly meeting providing updates on the decommissioning project.

Roylance, speaking Monday before a handful of residents at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall, said NCM is in the third phase of processing the steel with about 10 to 12 loads already leaving the site of the former Lihu‘e Plantation mill.

As the steel is removed from the mill structure, it is placed in growing mountains. The movement is picking up steam, Roylance said.

“We’re on schedule,” he said. “We’re looking at completion by the end of September.”

Asbestos Abatement work started Jan. 16 with the demolition activities starting on Feb. 20, according to updates posted on the Sterling Systems website.

Jim Willard, project manager for the asbestos abatement, said work on the asbestos abatement is about 98 percent complete with about 88 tons of material removed. The Sterling Systems website noted that on May 16 “Asbestos abatement is nearing completion.”

He said they have been working with the state and county government officials in the abatement process. The state Department of Health made three unannounced visits during the process and found no fault on any of the visits.

“There is asbestos in the mortar,” said Lyn McCrory, representing the land owner. “The building may look small from the outside, but once inside, it’s bigger than you think it is.”

She said there are no plans for future development of the site, but was more concerned about removing the toxic asbestos and other material before becoming concerned about what is going to happen with the property.

The steel from the mill has been sold and the asbestos and other hazardous material is being disposed of in accordance with environmental agencies’ specifications. And once the material is cleared, testing of the remaining concrete for toxicity will be conducted before proceeding.

She said they are holding monthly meetings so residents can be updated on the process. The next meeting will take place July 31 at the convention hall.

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