Monday, May 20, 2024

EPA and Department of Health present awards to Hawaii County

At a ceremony today at the Kona Outdoor Circle Education Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and the Hawaii Department of Health honored the County with the 2008 Hawaii Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Project and Clean Water State Revolving Fund Project of the Year Awards.

The County of Hawaii is being recognized for its innovative financing and leadership work on replacing existing cesspools at county facilities with onsite wastewater systems. It also assisted other partners in improving wastewater systems.

For the drinking water award, the county is being recognized for improving drinking water sources for the Pahala and Honomu communities. The projects included drilling new wells and installing new pumps, piping, and chlorination systems, and at Honomu, building of a new concrete reservoir.

“EPA applauds Mayor Kim and the County of Hawaii for its work on projects that will supply safe drinking water and provide improved wastewater treatment for the Big Island’s residents,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “The challenge of our nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure is not just an EPA challenge, a state challenge, or a county challenge … it’s everyone’s challenge.”

“These projects will protect and improve drinking water and wastewater treatment for the Big Island, and the Department of Health is pleased to assist Hawaii County financially,” said Laurence Lau, Deputy Director for DOH’s Environmental Health Administration.

States nominate one project for the “Pisces Award” which recognizes the most innovative and effective clean water loan projects. The “Aquarius Award” recognizes the most innovative and effective drinking water loan projects.

“We are very grateful for the hard work and dedication to our community on the part of the Departments of Water Supply and Public Works. Our County workers are honored to be recognized in this way,” said Mayor Harry Kim.

Since 1997 the EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund has provided $15.2 billion dollars in assistance nationwide. The program allows water utilities access to low interest loans, and states can fund programs to protect source water and provide technical assistance to drinking water utilities.

Nationally, the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program has provided more that $63 billion dollars funding projects for wastewater treatment, nonpoint source pollution control, watershed and estuary management, and energy and water sustainability projects.

The State of Hawaii’s Drinking Water Treatment and Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Funds have together provided over $425 million dollars in assistance throughout Hawaii through capitalization grants from the EPA and matching funds from the state.

For more information, contact Dean Higuchi at (808) 541-2711 or

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