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Motor vehicle disposal wells in Hawai’i must close by January

Release Date: 04/20/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(04/20/06) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawai’i Department of Health are reminding facility owners that all existing injection wells used for disposing of motor vehicle service waste need to be closed by January 2007.

In December 1999, the EPA issued a regulation prohibiting the construction of injection wells for the disposal of motor vehicle waste, and a requirement that all existing motor vehicle waste disposal wells must be closed or converted by Jan. 1, 2007 to prevent pollution of underground sources of drinking water.

“It is very important that facilities with these types of wells close them in order to protect Hawai’i’s drinking water sources,” said Alexis Strauss, director for the EPA’s water division for the Pacific Southwest region. “We would like to encourage facilities, if they have not done so already, to begin planning to meet the upcoming 2007 deadline.”

Motor vehicle waste disposal wells are injection wells that receive or have received fluids from vehicle repair or maintenance activities. These facilities can include auto body repair shops, new and used car dealerships, specialty repair shops, such as, transmission and muffler shops, or any facility that does any vehicle or engine repair work. Common injection well designs found at motor vehicle sites include septic systems, leachfields, cesspools, dry wells, storm water drainage wells, and unlined sumps.

Fluids generated by vehicular repair and maintenance activities include; fuels, solvents, antifreeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid, battery acid and water from washing the engine or undercarriage of a motor vehicle. These fluids may contain organic chemicals and metals in concentrations that exceed the levels established to protect drinking water sources.

Prior to well closure, facilities must notify the EPA and the DOH UIC Programs of their intent to close the motor vehicle waste disposal well. To close any injection well in Hawai’i, a facility must contact the DOH UIC Program for a well abandonment application. After reviewing the application and inspecting the injection well, the DOH will issue injection well backfilling requirements to the facility. Backfilling should not occur unless backfilling instructions are issued by the State UIC Program.

Toll-free numbers to contact the Hawai’i Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency are listed below.

To register or close a motor vehicle waste disposal well, contact the Hawai’i Dept. of Health Underground Injection Control Program toll-free from the following islands:
Oahu: 586-4258
Big Island: 974-4000, x64258
Kauai: 274-3141, x64258
Maui: 984-2400, x64258
Molokai & Lanai: 1-800-468-4644, x64258
To get information on the ban or to register a well, contact Shannon FitzGerald at the Environmental Protection Agency toll-free at:
From all islands: 1-866-EPA-WEST (1-866-372-9378)

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