USGS and NPS Disaster Recovery Plan for Hawaii Volcanoes

A disaster recovery plan for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park to address issues related to the 2018 Kīlauea Volcano eruption is open for public comment/USGS file

The month-long eruption of Kīlauea Volcano in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in 2018 caused extensive damage to the park and its infrastructure, including impacts to the Jaggar Museum and nearby buildings at the edge of the volcano which rendered them unusable. Now the National Park Service and the US Geological Survey are ready to move forward with a disaster recovery plan that is open for public comment.

The purpose of the Disaster Recovery Project is to repair, replace, relocate, or remove critical park infrastructure and USGS-operated facilities and equipment damaged during the eruption and summit collapse.

As part of the proposed action, the National Park Service:

  • Deconstruct damaged facilities (Jaggar Museum and two adjacent USGS buildings) in the Uēkahuna Cliff area.
  • Repair the toilet block in the Uēkahuna Cliff area.
  • Repair and restore access to the Uēkahuna Cliff Lookout.
  • Construct a natural surface trail to connect viewpoints on the Crater Rim Trail in the Uēkahuna Cliff area.
  • Remove and replace existing water tanks in the Uēkahuna Cliff area.
  • Replace the USGS HVO research facilities and build a new field station near the ball field near Kilauea Army Camp (KMC).
  • Construct a new replacement visitor center adjacent to the existing Kīlauea Park/Visitor Center building.
  • Repurpose the existing Kīlauea Visitor Center (KVC) facility into a space for indoor park programs, special events, and K-12 educational programs. KVC will continue to be the park’s headquarters.
  • Improve the park entrance and realign Crater Rim Drive to improve visitor safety with a roundabout and the addition of a third lane for administrative use only to reduce park entrance wait times for visitors. visitors and staff.
  • Deconstruct the non-historic National Park Service offices in the park’s research area and relocate the NPS offices to the former USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center buildings.
  • Develop parking, utilities and other site infrastructure to serve the proposed action facilities and improve circulation.

The public is invited to review and submit comments on the environmental assessment by July 31 at 11:59 p.m. MDT (7:59 p.m. HST) as follows:

  • On line. The preferred method for receiving feedback is through the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website: The PEPC website hosts the environmental assessment and detailed information about the project.
  • Call. Callers can leave a detailed message or have someone call them back by calling a dedicated phone line, (808) 460-6212.
  • Attend a virtual meeting on July 21, 2022 at noon or 6 p.m. The same information will be presented at both meetings so it is necessary to attend only one meeting. The presentation of the disaster recovery project will be at the beginning of the hour. Join the Zoom meeting online:
    • If you do not have internet access, you can join by phone: (888) 475-4499 toll free in the US Meeting ID: 930 0740 8720.
    • The meetings will give the public an opportunity to learn more about the environmental assessment of the project, have discussions with NPS and USGS personnel, and provide feedback.
    • Comments received will be reviewed, analyzed and considered for the environmental assessment.
    • The meetings will be recorded and a link to the recording will be posted on the project website:

The 2018 eruption and caldera collapse were the most destructive eruptive events in Hawai’i in the past two centuries, and the park was closed to the public for 134 days.Beginning in May 2018, Kīlauea’s summit and park underwent major changes as magma flowed from the chamber below Halema’uma’u Crater, and the caldera began to collapse, triggering thousands felt earthquakes and clouds of rock and ash that continued through early August. . Seismic activity was mostly centered near the crater and had a significant impact on buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Uēkahuna Cliff, including the Jaggar Museum and Okamura facility and equipment operated by the USGS , causing the area to close.

The results of post-disaster assessments revealed that a significant investment would be required to keep the Jaggar Museum and the Okamura Building and Geochemistry Annex operated by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory safe and operational. The buildings are surrounded by fault lines and the area continues to slump on the crater side, compromising the stability of the slopes of the existing terraces and the foundations of the buildings.

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