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fire debris removal program

The Maui Fire Debris Removal Program provides comprehensive debris removal, hazard tree removal, and environmental cleanup services to property owners at no out-of-pocket cost. 

This Debris Removal Program will occur in TWO phases:


A Federal Emergency Management Agency ((FEMA)-certified EPA team removes household hazardous waste and other toxic materials. Phase 1 occurs after the fire is contained and the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) is complete. No Right of Entry Permits is required from property owners during this phase. 


Local, state and federal officials will coordinate to conduct fire-related debris removal from the properties elected to participate in the County’s Wildfire Debris Removal program. A  Right-of-Entry Form (coming soon) must be signed by the property owner. A variety of community outreach efforts will be deployed to get the word out and encourage enrollment.

Debris Removal FAQ

What agencies are involved in this Fire Debris Removal Program?

In coordination with the County of Maui and the State of Hawai‘i, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assigned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to survey, remove, and dispose of household hazardous waste from properties affected by the wildfires in Lāhainā, Kula, and Olinda on Maui.

What will the EPA be doing to impacted properties during Phase 1?

Phase 1 work will include:

  • Household Hazardous Waste assessment and removal.
  • Removal of household hazardous wastes and bulk asbestos.
  • Dust control plus air monitoring and sampling.
  • If the conditions on the property are not safe enough for EPA teams to enter, removing Household Hazardous Waste will be held until Phase 2. 
  • Learn more: Dust Control Plus Air Monitoring and Sampling
  • Learn more: Household Hazardous Waste Removal (Phase 1)

During Phase 1, how will the EPA remove Household Hazardous Waste on my property and how will I know when it’s completed?

  1. An EPA team will first survey your property for work conditions.
  2. A second EPA team will visit your property and remove Household Hazardous Waste.
  3. After the second team finishes, a sign will be placed on your property (see example sign) and will be marked on EPA’s “StoryMap” website (under development). 
  4. If the conditions on your property are not safe enough for EPA teams to enter, removing Household Hazardous Waste will be held until Phase 2.
  5. Learn more. Download here.

What if the property owner next to me does not or cannot be reached to sign their Household Hazardous Waste Form? Will their property be left as is?

To the extent necessary, the County or State will adopt an urgency ordinance (or similar vehicle) to codify the requirement for fire debris removal and authorize both the Phase 2 Debris Removal Program and the Alternate Debris Removal Program. The ordinance will establish cleanup standards for the Alternate Debris Removal Program and provide sufficient legal authority for the County or State to abate fire debris from non-compliant parcels through a judicial or quasi-judicial process with reasonable due process.

How will you notify me when it's time to enroll in the Phase 2 Debris Clean up?

Announcements will be made via various communication methods. These will include: 

  • Informational signage at key entry points to the affected areas
  • Town Hall Meetings
  • Right-Of-Entry-Centers (to be established at community centers, school campuses, and similar facilities)
  • Disaster Recovery Centers
  • Online submittals
  • Media (print, broadcast)
  • Social media

Is it safe to re-enter my property that burned?

The burn area is hazardous. For safety, property re-entry may be coordinated after Phase 1 Environmental Clean-up is completed and before Phase 2 Debris Clean-up takes place. FEMA will be offering Re-entry Kits to protect those wanting access to impacted properties. The Hawai‘i Department of Health advises avoiding the burn area until it is cleared of hazardous waste and structural ash. Learn more. 

For questions: call the Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) at 808-270-7285.

Is there a health risk around burned sites?

Fire debris is hazardous to human health. If allowed to return to your property, avoid exposure to fire debris and use personal protective equipment including respirators to reduce health risks. Learn more.

What’s involved in the debris clean-up process?

There’s a number of steps that will occur during the debris removal process (Phase 2). These include:

Site Assessment:
  • A Site Assessment Team will prepare a site assessment report and site map, document debris on-site, and check for site hazards.
  • Resource Advisors (biologists, archaeologists, Native Hawaiian Organization monitors) will also assess site and flag resources for protection.

Asbestos Assessment and Abatement:
  • Certified Asbestos Consultants will assess debris and collect samples of any suspect asbestos-containing materials. 
  • Suspect asbestos-containing material will be sent to a laboratory for testing.
  • If the laboratory confirms the material contains asbestos, a Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractor will remove the material under the supervision of a Certified Asbestos Consultant.

Debris Removal:
  • Crew will remove debris and transport to approved sites for proper disposal. 
  • Crew will scrape 3-6” of soil from the building footprint.
  • Air monitoring will be conducted during work.
  • Burnt trees that present a safety threat to debris removal crews will be removed.

Soil Analysis:
  • Environmental team will sample remaining soil in the building footprint.
  • Samples will be sent to a certified laboratory and analyzed for heavy metals (such as lead and arsenic).
  • Sample results will be compared against health screening levels and background levels.
  • If results are high, an additional 3-6” of soil will b scraped from the sample area.

Hazard Tree Removal:
  • Trees along public roads and infrastructure will be assessed by a Certified Arborist or Professional Forester to determine if they are dead or dying.
  • Eligible trees will be marked for removal.

Erosion Control:
  • Crew will spray hydromulch on building footprint area and install wattles or compost socks to limit erosion.

unsafe water advisory

Advisory as of August 27, 2023 for Kula and Lahaina areas:

Until further notice, residents in these areas of Lahaina and Kula should only use bottled water or potable water provided from tankers for things like drinking, brushing teeth, ice-making, and food preparation. 

For potable water, please bring large water containers, at least 5-gallon capacity, to:


  • Lahaina Gateway Center
  • Honokohau  Valley
  • Behind  Lahaina Baseyard
  • Kahoma  Village
  • Hawaiian  Homes/Lahaina Civic Center

Upper Kula:

  • Crater  Road 
  • Copp  Road
  • Holy  Ghost Church
  • Rice  Park
  • Ching  Store
  • Ulupalakua  Ranch Store

Residentsin impacted areas are not able to treat the water in any way to make it safe toconsume, with contaminants possibly having entered the water system.

Unsafe Water Advisory Interactive Map:

A new, interactive map depicting the precise location of the Unsafe Water Advisory is now available at Residents can type in their address to see if their property is located within the affected area. 

To aid the public in better understanding the test results, the following information was provided by the Department of Water Supply:

Detection Limit: refers to a minimum concentration of an analyte that can be measured above the instrument background noise.

What is instrument background noise? Instruments have detectors that convert any target analyte entering the detector into an electrical signal that can be measured. Using a calibration curve, this signal can be converted into a concentration. Instrument noise is due to the normal, random generation of electrical signal from sources other than the target analyte. Some causes are radiation, magnetic fields, loose connections or static. They have nothing to do with the specific sample being analyzed.

What is an MCL? The maximum concentration level or (MCL) is the maximum concentration of a chemical that is allowed in public drinking water systems. The MCL is established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What is μg/L? The symbol μg = microgram. One microgram is one millionth of a gram and one thousandth of a milligram. So if the MCL reads 2 μg/L that is 2 micrograms per liter. It is also referred to as parts per billion (ppb).

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