Kekaha Road Brownfields Program
Welcome to the official website for the Kekaha Road Brownfields Program, an initiative led by the County of Kauaʻi in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This project aims to assess, evaluate, and revitalize brownfields along the Kekaha Road corridor, between Amakihi Road and Pueo Road, as a means to improve the quality of life for Kekaha residents. Through community-based planning and the utilization of brownfields assessment grant funds, the County intends to work with property owners and other stakeholders in repurposing opportunity sites for local-serving uses, such as housing, jobs, services, and civic amenities.
The anticipated project deadline: October 2024. View the tabs below for more details on each project task.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency awarded the County a Community-wide Brownfields Assessment Grant in October 2021. The County released a Request for Professional Services, similar to a Request for Qualifications, to seek a qualified environmental professional firm that could assist with program implementation. After careful review and negotiations, the County secured a contract with Stantec Consulting Services Inc. as the primary consultant to lead with assessment activities and assist with community engagement.
EPA BROWNFIELDS PROGRAM AND BENEFITS
With EPA’s help, we can address the economic, social and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and reposition these properties for investment and revitalization. EPA’s upfront investments enable communities to overcome uncertainties associated with taking the first steps towards brownfield redevelopment. Many critical initial questions — such as whether a property is contaminated, what redevelopment options are both supported by the community and plausible given available resources, and how a property can be cleaned up and safely reused — can be informed using EPA’s resources. When these initial questions are answered, investing in redevelopment becomes less risky, and potentially more attractive, for other investors. EPA’s resources can assist communities in quantifying and addressing the inherent risks of brownfields redevelopment. When the risks are known or reduced, the potential return on property investment most likely will increase. This increased potential return on investment can create opportunities for community revitalization.
By empowering communities with resources and expertise, the EPA’s involvement in the Evolving Kekaha project enables the County of Kauaʻi to overcome challenges, revitalize the site, and create a safer, more vibrant, and economically prosperous community for its residents.
WHAT IS A BROWNFIELD?
A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.
Uncertainties Surrounding Brownfields Present Challenges to Communities
The health and safety of people and the environment can be at risk if a property presents exposure to environmental contaminants. If not addressed, contamination can spread to nearby properties as well.
When property owners and potential investors suspect a property is contaminated, they may fear they will be held liable for cleanup costs. This concern may discourage prospective owners and investors from investing in brownfields, until additional information on property characteristics and potential contamination is known. Until a brownfield is properly characterized, it may be passed over for redevelopment.
Over time, a neglected property may become an eyesore, contributing to neighborhood blight and social decline. Blighted properties can weaken local real estate markets, add stress to community social ties, and make it difficult for the community to attract needed services and investment.
The revitalization of the Kekaha corridor holds immense potential and aims to preserve its unique character while unlocking its potential for the benefit of the community. We invite all community members and stakeholders to actively participate in this project. Your insights and input are invaluable in maintaining the existing character while enhancing the potential of the Kekaha corridor. Below are options to stay updated on the project’s progress:
A selected group of local residents will guide environmental assessment activities and inform outreach strategies. If you’re interested, please contact us for more information.
We will host public meetings with the intent to present findings, prioritize brownfield sites, and develop a clean-up plan.
Upcoming Meeting: We are joining E Ola Mau’s Community Meeting which will take place on Thursday, February 15 at Kekaha Elementary School starting at 5:30pm.
Contact us to be added to the mailing list! We will email project updates to interested stakeholders who sign up.
For any inquiries or to get involved, please contact Ana Española:
Phone: (808) 241- 1968