The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a federal contract to Dawson Solutions, a Native Hawaiian company, for Maui fire debris removal, KHON 2 reports. The contract is worth $52 million.
Dawson Solutions is a subsidiary of the Hawaiian Native Corp and is classified as a Native Hawaiian-owned business.
Cleanup from the devasting fire that killed 97 people and displaced thousands in Lahaina is currently in phase 1. According to KHON 2, the EPA removes hazardous material during this phase. The contract with Dawson Solutions will come into play during phase 2. During this phase, the USACE will manage the removal of other fire-related debris.
Army Corps of Engineers told Honolulu Civil Beat that Dawson Solutions will focus on removing debris from private property. They expect the process to last three months.
Cultural observers will be present during debris removal.
“Having cultural observers in place prior to the commencement of Phase 2 debris removal is key to ensuring USACE personnel and contractors can perform their work for the people of Maui with confidence that items of cultural significance are going to be protected,” Col. Jess Curry, Recovery Field Office commander told KHON 2.
According to Honolulu Civil Beat, Christopher Dawson, the founder of Dawson Solutions, and the company are currently involved in a federal investigation regarding alleged financial crimes. Honolulu Civil Beat says Dawson has stepped down as chairman of Hawaiian Native Corp. and CEO of all 11 subsidiaries.
The contract appears to be awarded despite the investigation. Hawaii Native Crop. says the investigation does not involve company operations, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.
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