State and federal responders have completed recovery and removal operations in or adjacent to Lahaina Harbor. The Western Maui Wildfire Emergency Support Function No. 10 Unified Command concluded the final stage of their operations at the harbor on Dec. 18, 2023.
During their response teams removed approximately 10,137 gallons of petroleum product and 24,831 pounds of hazardous materials.
Teams also reunited 17 vessels with minimal damage to their owners and worked with DLNR-DOBOR to identify ownership and adjudicate 65 vessels before final disposition. They then removed all remaining damaged vessels and debris.
The Unified Command was comprised of the US Coast Guard, Hawaiʻi Department of Health, and the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. The Unified Command worked with primary contractor, Global Diving & Salvage, and subcontractors Sea Engineering, Inc., American Marine, Pacific Environmental Company, PB Sullivan Equipment, Nā ʻAikāne o Maui, Inc. and Aina Archaeology.
The US Environmental Protection Agency also assisted by including hazardous materials removed from the harbor into their waste steam for final disposition. Hazardous materials included batteries, waste oils, fuels, paints, and household cleaners.
“Our crews have worked tirelessly to remove pollution and hazardous materials in the initial steps toward the future restoration of Lahaina Harbor,” said Capt. Melanie Burnham, US Coast Guard ESF #10 Incident Commander. “This has been a team effort with continued support from our Unified Command partners, contractors, archeological monitors, cultural observers, and Coast Guard responders from across the country. Together with our community, County, State, and Federal partners, we were able to complete this mission safely and efficiently while maintaining the highest regard for the historical and cultural significance of the region.”
The US Army Corps of Engineers will conduct final disposition of fire-damaged vessels and incident-generated debris removed during harbor operations. The ACOE will coordinate with DLNR-DOBOR to return items of sentimental value to boat owners as they break down the vessel debris with a focus on maximizing recyclability of materials.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency assigned $15,470,330 for the ESF #10 mission to aid in recovery efforts and address environmental and hazardous threats resulting from fire-impacted vessels.
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988 authorized and funded this Mission Assignment for the US Coast Guard that was agreed upon by the State and FEMA and delineated the work for vessel and debris removal operations.