Why doesn’t the Mayor declare a state of emergency to help Molokai deal with this situation?
The Mayor of the County of Maui is not authorized to make such a declaration. However, the Governor under state law has the following powers:
“The governor shall have the following further emergency functions and powers, irrespective of the existence of a civil defense emergency period: (4) Continuity of service. To assure the continuity of service by public utilities and other facilities, both publicly and privately owned, by regulating or, if necessary to the continuation of the service thereof, by taking over and operating the same.” – Hawaii Revised Statutes § 128-94(4) (Emergency Functions)
With respect to wastewater treatment systems, Hawaii law states clearly:
“Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, if the governor or the director [of the State Department of Health] determines that an imminent peril to the public health and safety is or will be caused by the discharge of waste, any combination of discharges of waste, or any management practice that requires immediate action, the governor or the director, without a public hearing, may order any person causing or contributing to the discharge of waste to immediately reduce or stop the discharge, or to reduce, stop or change the management practice, and may take any and all other actions as may be necessary.” – Hawaii Revised Statutes § 342D-10 (Emergency Powers; Procedures)

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1. Where did the “end of August” date for Molokai Ranch to stop water and sewer (utility) services come from?
2. Who regulates (controls) public utility companies in Hawaii?
3. What has the Public Utilities Commission done so far?
4. Is the County also a customer of Molokai Ranch’s water and sewer systems?
5. Is it true that the County of Maui does not want to take over the system because it can’t afford to?
6. Doesn’t the County of Maui operate most sewer and water utilities in the county anyway?
7. Has the County of Maui inspected Molokai Ranch’s utility systems?
8. How many residents are affected?
9. Why doesn’t the Mayor declare a state of emergency to help Molokai deal with this situation?
10. Why is there so much correspondence going back and forth between the County of Maui and the State?
11. What if the PUC is unable to compel Molokai Ranch and its parent companies to continue operations until another operator can be secured and in place?
12. Why is the Public Utilities Commission raising the utility rates?
13. What if I can’t afford the rate increase that the PUC mandates?
14. Is it true that Well 17 (a current source of water), now being used by Molokai Ranch, is being used without a permit?
15. What consequences will there be to Molokai Ranch if they refuse to continue to provide water and sewer services to its customers after their deadline date of August 31, 2008?
16. Why can’t the County condemn Molokai Ranch’s properties to help pay for the cost of operating and repairing the utilities?
17. If there’s a fire, will there be water for the fire fighters to use?
18. What can Molokai residents do to ensure that services won’t be interrupted?