(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi has announced a pilot cesspool grant program to help qualified property owners convert their cesspools, or connect to an available sewage system.
All cesspools in Hawaiʻi must be upgraded by the year 2050 to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. The Department of Health on Friday said that the grant program, established via Act 153 in 2022, will help property owners who will face a financial burden due to the EPA mandate.
To qualify, cesspools must be in a priority level 1 or 2 area, as identified by the University of Hawai‘i’s cesspool hazard assessment and prioritization tool. There are three primary areas on Hawaiʻi island that are eligible: Hilo in the area of Hilo Bay, leeward South Kohala, and an area along the Kona coast.
The health department also says the applicant’s household income shall not exceed 140% of the Area Median Income (AMI), as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Property owners, including lessees on Hawaiian Home Lands, can receive up to $20,000 in reimbursements for their cesspool conversion or connection costs. Grant awards will be on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to funding availability, the health department says.
“This is truly an exciting program that will go a long way to help qualified applicants and, in turn, provide a healthier environment for future generations,” said DOH Deputy Director for Environmental Health, Kathleen Ho, states. “I strongly recommend eligible households apply.”
For more information about the cesspool grant program, please visit the CPGP website, or call (808) 586-4294. Applications for the grant program will be available on March 15, 2023.