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EPA announces Hawaii environmental enforcement accomplishments for 2008 / Water pollution, pesticide cases and investigation into illegal dumping highlight year

Release Date: 12/04/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(12/04/08) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 enforcement actions in Hawaii included actions for water pollution and pesticide violations, and an investigation into alleged illegal dumping on Oahu.

“EPA enforcement actions in the State of Hawaii will result in a reduction of over 2.6 million pounds of pollution and the clean up of over 1000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and water,” said Wayne Nastri, the EPA’s administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “In addition, over $300.9 million will be invested in pollution control and environmental clean-ups.”

Nationally, the agency took civil and criminal enforcement actions requiring regulated entities to spend an estimated $11.8 billion on pollution controls, cleanup and environmental projects, a record for EPA.

Hawaii enforcement highlights for 2008 include:

Hazardous Waste cases:

    Hakimo Road: The investigation into alleged illegal dumping on a Hakimo Road property on Oahu resulted in the EPA ordering the owner and operator of the property to clean up and remove hazardous substances found during a search.
    Del Monte: The Del Monte Fresh Produce Co., a Kunia, Oahu, fruit grower, was found to have hazardous waste storage, handling, and used oil management violations. EPA inspectors found open and unlabeled containers of hazardous waste at the facility and evidence of a release of used oil. The company was fined $190,000.


Pesticides cases:
    ABC Corp. The company was found distributing an antimicrobial disinfectant that failed effectiveness testing, a violation of federal pesticide laws. Test results found the product Fresh and Clean was ineffective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and did not meet its labeling claim of being suitable for hospital use. Once notified of the failure, ABC stopped distributing the product and was fined $52,000.

    Fines to Syngenta in Hawaii: A settlement with Syngenta Seeds, Inc. of Kekaha, Kauai, for pesticide work protection violations. The violations included failing to store all personal protective equipment separate from clothing and apart from pesticide-contaminated areas, and failing to post the spraying of the pesticide Liberty at its Central Notification Site. The company was fined $17,550.
    Vector Tobacco: The company misused six pesticides and failed to comply with federal pesticide worker safety laws. Vector Tobacco, a subsidiary of Vector Tobacco Group of Durham, NC, allegedly misused the pesticides Terramaster 4EC, Nemacur 3, Lorsban 4E, Prowl 3.3EC, Devrinol 50DF, and Ridomil Gold EC during their application at its agricultural research facility in Kekaha, Kauai, in 2005 and 2006. On 93 occasions, Vector Tobacco failed to follow label directions intended to protect workers from exposure to pesticides, and was fined $65,040.

Water Cases:
    Hamakua Wetlands Fines: Frank Coluccio Construction Co. and Castle Family LLC. was found filling sensitive wetlands adjacent to Hamakua Stream in Kailua, Oahu without federal permits. The company was ordered to restore the wetlands and paid a $68,000 fine.

    Mauna Loa LCC: The company failed to close three large capacity cesspools by April 2005 at its Hilo facility on the Big Island. In August 2007, more than two years after EPA’s regulatory deadline, the company completed work to close and replace its large capacity cesspools with a state-approved wastewater system. Mauna Loa was fined $75,000.
    Crouching Lion: Lion Pacific Investments, LLC, and other former owners of the Crouching Lion Inn, were fined $42,000 for failing to close large capacity cesspools at the Kaaawa, Oahu restaurant.
    Bali Hai Villas: EPA ordered Bali Hai Villas, Ltd. to comply with the Clean Water Act requirements at its residential construction project in Princeville, Kauai. The company failed to implement stormwater pollution controls outlined in its stormwater permit at the Princeville area construction site. The order requires the company to install soil stabilization and erosion and sediment controls at all locations of exposed soil and locations where stormwater runoff could leave the project site.

Air Cases:
    West Hawaii Landfill: Waste Management of Hawaii, Inc. and the County of Hawaii agreed to spend at least $184,400 for a beneficial environmental project after violating the Clean Air Act at the West Hawaii Landfill at Waikaloa. The supplemental environmental project will address the ongoing smoldering conditions at the closed Kona Landfill by conducting heat mapping of the site for a future landfill-wide fire suppression program. Fines of $33,500 were also assessed.
    Please go to http://www.epa.gov/region09/enforcement/results/08/index.html for a full description of the EPA’s enforcement cases throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in 2008.

    The report, U.S. EPA OECA Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Accomplishments Report: Protecting Public Health and the Environment, is available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/reports/accomplishments/oeca/fy08accomplishment.pdf

    More information on EPA FY 2008 enforcement and compliance results:
    http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/reports/endofyear/eoy2008/fy2008.html
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