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EPA, DOJ announce revised deadlines for Pflueger property restoration work

Release Date: 06/27/2007
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov U.S. DOJ Contact: Cynthia.Magnuson, 202-514-2007

(06/27/07) HONOLULU – The Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Hawaii, and two local citizen groups announced today the filing of an amendment to the settlement with James H. Pflueger, revising deadlines for restoration work for Clean Water Act violations from construction activities on Pflueger’s property at Pila’a on Kaua’i.

Delays in getting proper permits and the necessary financial assurances resulted in missed work deadlines set for fall of last year. This led to the EPA’s demand for stipulated penalties of $135,000. The revised deadlines call for Pflueger to complete work on parts of the restoration project by the end of 2008, with the rest of the work scheduled to be completed by 2012.

“We are pleased that Mr. Pflueger has worked with us to reach revised work completion dates to ensure protection of the ocean and reef ecosystems at Pila’a,” said Alexis Strauss, water division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “We will continue to monitor the progress of the restoration work at Pila’a to ensure all of the required work is completed.”

Once the final work is done, the restored areas will be monitored for two years. A portion of the required restoration and repair work has already been completed.

The Hawai’i Department of Health, Kauai County, Earthjustice, Limu Coalition and Kilauea Neighborhood Association were also part of the June 2006 settlement with Pflueger. The settlement included Pflueger’s payment of $2 million in penalties and a commitment to spend about $5.3 million on the work to prevent erosion and restore streams in areas damaged by the construction activity.

Pflueger’s property at Pila’a encompasses approximately 378 acres of coastal property on Kaua’i. Pflueger conducted grading and other land-disturbing construction at the site beginning in 1997 without obtaining permits. The construction activity resulted in discharges of sediment-laden stormwater flowing into the Pacific Ocean at Pila’a Bay, damaging a beachfront home, the beach and coral reefs.

A copy of the joint stipulation to amend the consent decree that was lodged today will be available on the Department of Justice Website at: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html. There will be a 30-day public comment period for the amendment to the consent decree.
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