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EPA announces Hawaii environmental enforcement accomplishments for 2007 Water pollution related cases highlight year

Release Date: 11/15/2007
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(11/15/07) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement actions in Hawaii for 2007 continues the agency’s successful efforts to make polluters achieve on-the-ground improvements to bring environmental and public health benefits for the state’s residents.

Leading the effort is the agreement with the city and county of Honolulu that will correct the most significant problems in Honolulu’s six sewer force mains for the March 2006 sewage spill into the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki. Polluters committed to more than $1.02 million to correct environmental violations and prevent future pollution.

“The City and County of Honolulu force main settlement will provide Oahu residents improved waste water treatment, and continued enjoyment of cleaner water and land areas,” said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. “The EPA will continue working to enforce environmental laws and ensure compliance of environmental regulations to improve public health.”

The Hawaii Department of Health’s Environmental Management Division was an active partner in the EPA’s successful compliance and enforcement efforts in Hawaii, which includes water quality monitoring, inspections, and investigations into water quality complaints from businesses and residents.

Hawai’i enforcement highlights for 2007 include:

    • City and County of Honolulu: Force main settlement requires Honolulu to construct new replacement force mains at Ala Moana, Beachwalk and Kaneohe/Kailua, assess the condition of six vulnerable force mains, and begin implementation of necessary repairs to prevent future sewage spills.
    • Pflueger: James H. Pflueger paid $22,750 in penalties for failing to comply with consent decree milestones relating to a required environmental project. The consent decree settled Clean Water Act violations associated with construction activities on Pflueger’s property at Pila’a on Kaua’i.
    • Hamakua Energy Partners will spend nearly $125,000 on an environmental project to generate energy at a nearby school, and pay an additional $34,335 fine. The company failed 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.
    • Del Monte Fresh Produce Co., a Kunia, Hawaii fruit grower was fined $24,640 for improperly using registered pesticides, a violation of federal pesticide law. The company allegedly misused the registered pesticides Telone II, Assure II, and Diazinon 50 W Pro during its application at its Kunia pineapple facility in 2004 and 2005. The company failed to comply with label directions regarding pesticide application and precautions to protect worker health and the environment.
    • RHS Lee, Inc., a specialty contracting firm with emphasis in grading, site preparation, excavation, demolition, and trucking, settled for $10,000 for hazardous waste violations at its facility located in Pearl City, Oahu. In May 2004, the EPA conducted a routine compliance inspection of the RHS Lee, Inc. facility and found the company failed to make a proper determination of its hazardous waste.
    • Safeway, Inc. paid a $675,000 fine for allegedly selling unregistered household cleaning products at its Hawaii and California stores with labels claiming the products disinfect and remove mold and mildew, a violation of federal law. Disinfectants and products that control mold are considered pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Both products make pesticidal claims that require EPA pesticide registration.. Neither product was registered.
    • The EPA filed a complaint against Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. for failing to close its three large capacity cesspools by April 2005 at its Hilo facility on the Big Island. The EPA notified the company in July 2004 of the April 2005 deadline to close its large capacity cesspools. An EPA contractor inspected the facility in October 2005 and was told closure plans were being developed. In August 2006, the EPA inspected the facility again and found the three large capacity cesspools were still in use.

Please go to http://www.epa.gov/region09/enforcement/results/index.html for a full description of the EPA’s enforcement cases throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in 2007. For information on the EPA’s national enforcement summary for 2007, go to: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/results/annual/fy2007.html  

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