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Grading, Grubbing and Stockpiling Permits

A. Legal Authority

  • Chapter 180C, HRS, Soil Erosion and Sediment Control
  • County Ordinances of the County of Kauai, City and County of Honolulu, County of Maui, and County of Hawaiʻi


B. Purpose

Generally, the purpose of grading, grubbing and stockpiling permits are to control activities which alter land forms and which have the potential to change drainage patterns, destroy vegetation, cause erosion and produce unsafe or unsightly disfigurement of the landscape.

C. Applicability to Aquaculture

Construction of aquaculture facilities may require performing grading, grubbing, stockpiling, or clearing activities that require a permit from the responsible county department. Grading is carried out when a site undergoes an amount of excavation or fill, as defined by county ordinance. Grubbing is carried out when an activity dislodges or uproots any vegetation, including trees, timber, shrubbery, or plants from the surface of the ground in an area defined by county ordinance. Stockpiling refers to temporary open storage of an amount of earth materials defined by county ordinance upon any premises.

D. Administering Agency

Grading, Grubbing and Stockpiling Permits are administered by the Department of Public Works of the respective county in which the project is located.


Engineering Division
Department of Public Works
County of Kauai
4444 Rice Street, Suite 175
Lihue, Kauai, Hawaiʻi 96766
Phone: 808-241-4883
Web site:


Department of Public Works
Development Services Division
County of Maui
250 South High Street
Wailuku, Maui 96793
Phone: 808-243-7845
Web site:


Site Development Division
Department of Planning and Permitting
City and County of Honolulu
650 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96813
Phone: 808-587-0230
Web site:


Department of Public Works
County of Hawaiʻi
Aupuni Center
101 Pauahi Street, Suite 7
Hilo, Hawaiʻi 96720-4224
Phone: (808) 961-8327
Web site:

E. Information Requirements

The applications for Grading, Grubbing and Stockpiling activities for each county are somewhat different in form and content. The City and County of Honolulu, the County of Hawaiʻi, and the County of Kauai have separate applications for grading, grubbing and stockpiling. The County of Maui has a single grading and grubbing application.

Common elements of a county grading application include: 1) project location information; 2) detailed project plans, e.g., site map and cubic yards of soil involved; 3) erosion control measures; and 4) a statement of best management practices.

Common elements of a county grubbing permit include: 1) project location information; 2) a grubbing plan, e.g., site map of proposed area to be disturbed; 3) an erosion control plan; and 4) a statement of best management practices.

Common elements of a county stockpiling permit include: 1) project location information; 2) a stockpiling plan, e.g., type and amount of material and site map; and 3) a statement of best management practices.

For major projects, a Civil Engineer licensed in the State of Hawaiʻi may be required. A performance bond, in the amount equal to the cost of all work and services required to complete the project, may be required.

Assistance in preparing an erosion control plan can be obtained free of charge from the Pacific Islands Area of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). More information can be obtained at:

F. Public Participation

There is no mandatory requirement for a public hearing in connection with a Grading, Grubbing and Stockpiling Permit.

G. Process Time

The processing time of the permit application varies with the size of the project being proposed. Early discussion of the project requirements with appropriate staff is recommended. Providing the application contains all the required information, the processing time could be between two to three weeks and three to six months for major actions. An issued permit will expire if work is not begun within a certain time frame from the date of issuance.

H. Sequence of Filing

The Grading, Grubbing and Stockpiling Permit will not be granted until an applicant complies with all other environmental and regulatory requirements.

I. Cost

The filing fee for a Grading, Grubbing and Stockpiling Permit is based on the volume of earth moved or square feet of area denuded. The cost of preparing the required information to accompany the application can be significant depending on the size of the property and the extent of proposed earth-moving activities. It is recommended the applicant consult with a civil engineering firm to estimate the costs specific to their project.

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Department of Agriculture – Aquaculture and Livestock Services
99-941 Halawa Valley Street
Aiea, Hawaiʻi 96701-5602
Phone: 808-483-7130
Fax: 808-483-7110
Web site:


Pacific Region Aquaculture and Coastal Resource Hub
2525 Correa Road, HIG 238
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-7031

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