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EPA proposes settlement with owners of Crouching Lion restaurant for $42,000 for large capacity cesspool violations

Release Date: 06/16/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(06/16/08) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement with Lion Pacific Investments, LLC, and other former owners of the Crouching Lion Inn, to pay a fine of $42,000 for failing to close large capacity cesspools at the Kaaawa, Oahu restaurant.

“This agreement supports our continuing focus on closing large capacity cesspools to protect drinking water sources,” said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA’s water division for the Pacific Southwest region. “Over three years have passed since large cesspools needed to be closed. EPA will continue to pursue violators, and assess penalties as warranted.”

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, which is currently available for public comment, the restaurant has closed its four large capacity cesspools and installed a septic tank wastewater system approved by the Hawaii Department of Health.

A large capacity cesspool is one that discharges untreated sewage from multiple dwellings, or a non-residential location that serves 20 or more people on any day. The regulations, which prohibit large capacity cesspools as of April 2005, do not apply to single-family homes connected to their own individual cesspools.

Cesspools discharge raw sewage into the ground, which results in disease-causing pathogens and other contaminants – such as nitrates – polluting groundwater, streams and the ocean. Cesspools are used more widely in Hawaii than in any other state. Many are owned by county, state, and federal agencies. However, there are numerous other cesspools serving restaurants, hotels, office complexes, and multiple dwellings, such as duplexes, ohana homes, apartments and condominiums.

For more information on the large capacity cesspool ban, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region09/hicesspools. For more information about the public notice and comment period, go to: http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/drinking/dw-enforcement.html

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