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Big Island: Puna District Infrastructure Updates

This week County Council member Ashley Kierkiewicz updated the Puna District on recent legislation and infrastructure updates. A copy of the entire newsletter can be found here.

infrastructure for puna

  • Disaster Recovery: FEMA has completed the final environmental assessment, which allows construction to kick off in 2024 to re-establish roads and water lines in the areas affected by the 2018 lava flow in Pahoa.
  • Wastewater: There is no county wastewater service in Puna, but state law requires all cesspools in the state be connected to a sewer system or be upgraded to a septic or aerobic treatment unit by Jan. 1, 2050. There are about 16,000 cesspools in Puna that discharge about 8.5 million gallons of untreated raw sewage effluent daily. A Wastewater Plan for Puna has been published and there are several options for a path forward.  It comes down to time and money…will Puna get their own wastewater treatment facility or or will it be left up to the homeowners to upgrade their cesspools to septic systems?
  • Insurance in Lava Zone 1 & 2: The Council adopted Resolution 223-23 calling for action by the Hawai‘i State Legislature and Hawai‘i Property Insurance Association to ensure residents are not priced out of their homes and businesses. Currently insurance is only available through the state insurance fund in lava zone 1 and 2.
  • Transient Accommodations (Short Term Vacation Rentals): An updated draft of the proposed bill has been published regarding hosted and unhosted rentals on the Big Island. Access the latest version (Draft 5) at

proposed transient accomodations rental regulation


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