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EPA to apply soil stabilizer to ash and debris footprint of burned buildings
October 13, 2023
EPA Public Information Officer (R9_PIO_2@epa.gov) 808-539-0555
LĀHAINĀ, MAUI, Hawai’i – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) response personnel, in coordination with Maui County and local officials, have started the application of a soil stabilizer on the ash and debris footprints of burned buildings and burned vehicles with damaged lead-acid batteries in Lāhainā, Maui.
EPA crews began applying the soil stabilizer on a half-acre residential property in Lāhainā in Zone 6C on Thursday, October 12. The purpose of this initial application was to fine-tune our operations and ensure the crews understand the application process. Based on this initial trial in Lāhainā and adjustments to the process, crews began applying soil stabilizer in Zones 9H, 9I, 9J, and 9M today and will continue Saturday. These zones were chosen to minimize the potential exposure to ash and debris by school children when schools open on Monday, Oct. 16.
The application of the soil stabilizer will help reduce the potential impacts to peoples’ health and the environment from the spread of contaminated ash to water and surrounding properties. EPA has already successfully applied the same soil stabilizer to burned properties in Kula.
The soil stabilizer will not be applied to any known, identified, or flagged cultural resources, standing walls (including those of historic structures), dry-stack walls, and areas known to contain collections of cultural artifacts or ancestral ashes. EPA is also aware of community concerns regarding feeding stations for cats in the impacted areas. Crews will move the feeding stations before applying the soil stabilizer to the ash and debris footprint of burned buildings.
EPA requests that individuals wait 24 hours from the application of the soil stabilizer before entering the property. Although the manufacturer recommends a full 24 hour curing period, in this climate it is expected to harden in less time.
Learn more about EPA’s work in Maui.
View EPA’s Story Map for the 2023 Maui Wildfire Response.
Visit the official County of Maui website for recovery efforts.
The ash and debris footprint of a burned building before soil stabilizer application.
The ash and debris footprint of the same building an hour after the soil stabilizer application.
Crews applying the soil stabilizer to the ash and debris footprint of a burned building.
A map of EPA’s initial application of soil stabilizer in Lāhainā.