(BIVN) – Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim told residents of Keaukaha Thursday evening that the Big Island’s sewage-related issues have become his administrations’s top priority.
“If we don’t have a (sewage) system that is the best we can afford,” Kim stated, “what good is a nice park, (or) nice roads, or anything, if you are polluted.”
The mayor’s comments were made during a meeting of the Keaukaha Action Network, organized by Terri Napeahi, who said she has concerns about accounts of local families getting sick after swimming along the shore. Napeahi has been working to raise awareness over the numerous toxicity issues facing the Keaukaha / Panaewa communities.
Thursday night, the focus was on sewage. Earlier this week, a broken sewer main in Kailua-Kona resulted in a spill that closed Kailua Bay. A wastewater discharge was also reported in East Hawaii, along the shoreline of Puhi Bay. On Wednesday, the health department reported elevated bacteria levels were recorded at Onekahakaha Beach Park.
“You won’t hear us try to defend something,” said Kim on the subject of sewage, “but we will try to explain… why… this is the highest of priorities.”
Big Island Video News will have the full video from the meeting posted by Friday.