East Hawaii News

Pahoa Transfer Station to Reopen as Waste Facility

January 9, 2015, 12:53 PM HST
* Updated January 9, 12:55 PM
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The Pahoa Transfer Station is likely to reopen as a waste facility. Hawai’i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said Friday that the goal is to reopen the transfer station beginning March 1.

“On Feb. 1, the lava viewing will be suspended, that is to allow from Feb. 1 to March 1, the Department of Environmental Management the opportunity to restore the transfer station and put it back in operation,” Oliveira told reporters.

Alternative sites and opportunities are being looked upon for viewing areas in the future, Oliveira said as he discussed community interest. “There is definite interest from the community, and the tourism side of things, as well as education going forward.”

On Friday, transition of the management for the viewing area occurred. The Hawai’i County Department of Parks and Recreation took over the lead management role that was previously held by Civil Defense.

Visitation hours at the site have also been modified, beginning Friday. Oliveira said the change to the viewing hours is to be good stewards of resources, and identified that the site continues to remain open during what officials saw as “peak hours.”

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The Public can visit the Pahoa Transfer station lava viewing site during the new hours of 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

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In addition to the indefinite closure of the viewing area beginning Feb. 1, the area will also close on Tuesday, Jan. 27 and Thursday Jan. 29 so that 6th grade students from Keonepoko and students in the Pahoa School system can view the area.

More than 650 students are expected to visit the site during the two day span.

“Unfortunately, a group of students were inadvertently left out. We have 6th graders from Keonepoko who did not get the opportunity to come through. We also have an interest from the Pahoa school system to bring their students through, even though they may not have been directly affected by displacement, their community was definitely affected by the lava flow,” Oliveira explained.

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Oliveira noted that the student experience in early December proved to be very effective at providing students with the educational opportunity to not only learn the science behind the lava flow but also to understand the reality of what impacted their lives so abruptly.

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Vehicles line Apa'a Street as members of the public park and walk to the Pahoa Transfer station viewing area. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Vehicles line Apa’a Street as members of the public park and walk to the Pahoa Transfer station viewing area. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Members of the public venture from the Pahoa Transfer station structure and take a look at the impacted road. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Members of the public venture from the Pahoa Transfer Station structure and take a look at the impacted road. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

The Pahoa Transfer Station was closed to the public on Oct. 24 as lava threatened the area. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

The Pahoa Transfer Station was closed to the public on Oct. 24 as lava threatened the area. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

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