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Hawaii power plant cited for clean air violations

Release Date: 04/13/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(04/13/06) HONOLULU - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently notified Hamakua Energy Partners that it is failing to meet state and federal Clean Air Act permit requirements, including emission limits and emission monitoring requirements, at its power plant facility in Haina, Hawai’i.

“Clean Air Act rules are very clear on the need for both appropriate emission limits and continuous monitoring of power plant emissions,” said Deborah Jordan, director for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Air Division. “We will continue to ensure that facilities comply with these regulations and do their part to protect air quality.”

Hamakua Energy Partners owns a power plant facility located in Haina, Hawai’i that contains two 23 megawatt combustion turbine generators. The facility, constructed in 1999, is a major source of air pollution and was issued a state air permit for construction and operation of the plant.

As part of the permit, Hamakua was required meet certain emission limits, including those for nitrogen oxides, and to install, operate, and maintain continuous air monitoring systems for each combustion turbine generator to measure carbon monoxide and opacity levels of the smokestack emissions.

Quarterly compliance reports submitted to the Hawaii Department of Health by the company identified numerous instances from 2001 to 2003 where facility emissions exceeded nitrogen oxide limits in the permit. Also, the reports identified excessive periods of time where the carbon monoxide monitoring and opacity monitoring systems failed to operate for both generators. Hamakua also failed to submit required quarterly reports to the EPA.

The facility could face penalties of $27,500 per day for each violation that occurred before March, 2004, and $32,500 per day for each subsequent violation.

The federal Clean Air Act requires each state to adopt and submit a plan to the EPA that provides for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of national air quality standards. The HDOH has the primary jurisdiction for crafting, implementing, and enforcing Hawaii air permit program requirements

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