“Our crumbling infrastructure is impacting the lives of families in Hawai'i every single day. But today, President Biden signed into law historic legislation that will repair our roads, bridges and public transportation, update our airports and ports, expand access to high-speed internet, deliver clean drinking water, and invest in clean, reliable energy. By strengthening our nation’s infrastructure, we’ll improve our supply chain crisis, ease inflation, and create thousands of good-paying jobs across the state.
“But we’re not stopping there. We need to do more to make our economy work for everyone. This starts by expanding the Child Tax Credit, making child care affordable and available which will help parents—and in particular, women—get back to work, lowering the cost of health care, and taking decisive, bold steps to confront the growing impact of climate change. That’s exactly what the Build Back Better package will do—and we’re going to pay for this by making sure the biggest corporations and wealthiest individuals actually pay their fair share of taxes.”
|Roads and bridges like ones recently completed on Hwy 11 near Punalu`u|
will be rebuilt and repaired with massive federal funding to Hawai'i.
Photo by Bob Martin
She said at least $200.4 million will go for water infrastructure for water treatment, pipes, storage tanks and a revolving fund for municipal wastewater facilities and treatment systems.
There will be $21 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and state-led initiatives to accelerate the clean energy transition ($18 million for EV charging and $3 million for the clean energy transition). Hawai'i will also have the opportunity to apply for part of $7.5 billion in funding for EV charging and other alternative vehicle fueling infrastructure.
|More electrical vehicle charging stations will be funded, like this one at Punalu'u |
Bake Shop in Na`alehu. Photo from Hawaiian Electric
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THE WESTERN PACIFIC SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES FUND'S recent audit showed more than $1.2 million in awards - 40 percent of all costs examined - were without required approvals or sufficient documentation. A statement released today by U.S. Congressman Ed Case and colleagues who serve on the U.S. House Water, Oceans & Wildlife Subcommittee explained that the audit was conducted by the Department of Commerce Office of the Inspector General to examine the expenditures and oversight of
A hearing will be held on Tuesday regarding a bill put forward by Case and a colleague. It is called the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act and would add transparency and reporting requirements for the Fund. Case said, “The Inspector General’s report underscores the need for substantial reforms in the way that WESPAC does business. Our federal dollars should be spent on the critical mission of sustaining and conserving vital marine ecosystems, not on controversial awards and questionable and unsupported spending at the behest of council staff with potential conflicts of interest."
Numerous accusations of conflict of interest regarding funds issued for projects to improve fisheries in the Pacific region have been made in recent years, involving family members and associates of WESPAC officials. See Civil Beat at https://www.civilbeat.org for a series of stories on WESPAC. Also see Environment Hawai'i at https://www.environment-hawaii.org/
“This report is just the beginning of our inquiry and response. We must act on the report’s findings to prevent any further waste and abuse of government funds by WESPAC and potentially other regional fishery councils operating under the same rules,” said the statement from Case and colleagues.
HAWAIIAN VOLCANOES OBSERVATORY NOTED TODAY that Kīlauea volcano is erupting from a single vent in the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. As of Monday morning, Nov. 15, lava was erupting at the summit. Activity returned to levels observed prior to a recent brief decrease in activity. All lava activity is confined within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Seismic activity and volcanic gas emission rates remain elevated.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates remain elevated, with an emission rate for Nov. 9 of approximately 2600 tonnes per day. Summit tiltmeters overall recorded neutral tilt from Sunday into Monday morning. Seismicity remains stable. Earthquake activity remains below background and volcanic tremor remains elevated since the beginning of the eruption.
The single vent spewing lava is in the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. The western end of the lake showed a maximum elevation of approximately 802.5 meters (2633 ft) above sea level by HVO’s permanent laser rangefinder Monday morning, and a total increase of about 59.5 meters (195 ft) since lava emerged on Sept. 29. Webcams show spatter and ponded lava within the west vent and an increase in the area of active lava at the surface of the lava lake to an extent similar to that observed prior to the decrease in activity on Nov. 7. The total erupted volume since the beginning of the eruption was estimated to be about 27 million cubic meters (7.1 billion gallons) on Nov. 9.
See the daily Kīlauea updates at https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/volcano-updates