The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001250308-01
Notice of Proposed Action


File No. WQC0936


December 6, 2019

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) proposes to issue a Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC), which includes conditions and requirements, to Kamehameha Schools (KS) for the Punalu’u Stream Restoration Project, which is subject to compliance with requirements authorized under Clean Water Act (CWA, 33 U.S.C. 1344), Section 404 and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (RHA, 33 U.S.C. 403).

The Owner information is as follows:

Owner: Kamehameha Schools (KS)

Contact: Mr. Joey Char – Land Asset Manager
Phone: (808) 534-8189

Based on the application: KS owns 140 acres of land along the lower reaches of Punalu’u Stream and its floodplain upstream of Kamehameha Highway. Of the 140 acres, approximately 121 acres is included in the project limit boundary. Construction activities that will transpire within this boundary include grading to re-contour the topography for the stream and floodplain restoration, construction access, and equipment staging. Proposed work includes cutting, grading and fill operations to lower elevations on the floodplain and create a new setback berm that will allow Punalu’u stream to naturally re-meander. This will allow high flows to spill out of the Punalu’u stream channel, and to spread out in a designated floodway. All work will contribute to a larger floodplain and stream corridor than currently exists. As a result, floodwaters will be stored temporarily on the floodplain and estuary and sediments will be trapped before these waters reach Kamehameha Highway and nearshore environments. These results will improve flood conveyance, and restore geomorphic and ecologic processes. The proposed Project also includes elevating land in the southeast (i.e., Kahana side) part of the Project area to reduce chronic flooding and make the land productive for agriculture. This work would occur in conjunction with new drainage ditch construction along the Kahana hill slope to redirect flood flows away from Kamehameha Highway and into a new wetland/settling basin. Project work will occur within three sections of the Punalu’u valley: the Upper Valley, the Lower Valley, and the Kahana (southern) side of the Valley.

The proposed Punalu’u Stream Restoration Project received Nationwide Permit #27 (Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement Activities) Verification issued on June 8, 2018 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District which requires that “… Prior to the initiation of any construction, projects qualifying for this NWP must receive a Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) (or waiver), issued by the State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Clean Water Branch (DOH-CWB).”

Punalu’u stream and its estuary are classified by the DOH as “Inland Waters, Class 2” and the downstream portion of the Pacific Ocean is classified as “Marine Waters, Class A for Open Coastal.”

Based on an evaluation of the Section 401 WQC Application, the supporting information, which are relevant to water quality considerations, and when all requirements and conditions contained in this proposed Section 401 WQC are fully complied with, there is a reasonable assurance that the discharges resulting from the proposed construction activities will be conducted in a manner which will not violate the applicable water quality standards and will comply with the applicable provisions of CWA, Sections 301, 302, 303, 306, and 307.

This proposed Section 401 WQC shall expire two (2) years from the date of issuance or until the applicable WQS are revised or modified, or Department of the Army, Nationwide Permit #27 is modified, revoked, suspended, or expired, or when the project related construction activities are completed, whichever is earlier. If the applicable WQS is revised or modified, before the proposed expiration date, and such that the activity complies with the revisions or modifications to the WQS, this Section 401 WQC shall continue to be valid for the remainder of the two-year period.

The Director may, upon receipt of written request from KS or its Duly Authorized Representative, administratively extend the expiration date of the issued Section 401 WQC. The request shall be submitted at least 30 calendar days before the Section 401 WQC expires. The decision by the DOH to allow an administrative extension will be made on a case-by-case basis taking into account compliance history and impact to receiving State water quality.

Persons wishing to comment upon or object to the proposed determinations or request a public hearing should submit their comments or request in writing no later than 30 calendar days from the date of this notice either in person or by mail, to:

Clean Water Branch
Environmental Management Division
Department of Health
Hale Ola, Room 225
2827 Waimano Home Road
Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii 96782

Copies of the Application, proposed Section 401 WQC and other information on file are available for public inspection, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 7:45 a.m. until 4:15 p.m., at the DOH office address shown above. Copies may be bought. The application and proposed Section 401 WQC are also available on the Internet at: For more information or if you have special needs due to disability that will aid you in inspecting and/or commenting on the public notice permit and related information, please contact Mr. Darryl Lum, Supervisor of the Engineering Section, at the above address or (808) 586-4309 (Voice) at least seven (7) calendar days before the comment deadline. For those who use a TTY/TDD, please call through Sprint Relay Hawaii, at 1-711 or 1-877-447-5991.

All written comments and requests received on time will be considered. If the DOH determines that there is significant public interest, a public hearing may be held after at least 30 calendar days of public notice.

If the DOH’s position is substantially unchanged, after considering all timely written comments and all oral comments at any public hearing that may be held, the DOH will issue or deny the Section 401 WQC, as appropriate, and this action will be final.

Please notify anyone you know who would be interested in this matter.
Director of Health
(SA1250308 12/6/19)