EPA Requires Closures of 19 Illegal Cesspools in Hawai‘i in 2017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement actions this year in Hawai‘i resulted in closures of 19 large capacity cesspools (LCC) and over $500,000 in fines, seven of the cesspools were on the County of Hawai‘i.

EPA regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act required closure of all existing LCCs by April 5, 2005. The ban does not apply to individual cesspools connected to single-family homes.
“We will continue working to close all remaining large cesspools,” said EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Alexis Strauss. “This enforcement effort will help protect Hawai‘i’s drinking water and coastal water resources.”

Cesspools collect and discharge untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. Groundwater provides 99% of all domestic water in Hawai‘i, where cesspools are used more widely than in any other state. Since EPA banned LCCs in 2005, over 3,400 large-capacity cesspools have been closed state-wide, many through voluntary compliance.

EPA actions to close prohibited LCCs this past year include:

  • The County of Hawai‘i agreed to close seven large capacity cesspools that serve the Pahala and Na‘alehu communities. The agreement requires the closure of two LCCs serving the Pahala community, three LCCs serving the Na‘alehu community, and two LCCs serving the Pahala Elderly Apartments. Combined, the seven cesspools serve about 280 households. The County will replace the cesspools with wastewater treatment systems approved by the Hawai‘i Department of Health.
  • Aloha Petroleum, Ltd. paid a penalty of $57,500 for operation of an LCC at its Aloha Island Mart convenience store and gas station in Captain Cook on the Big Island. EPA found that Aloha Island Mart had operated the illegal LCC until 2014. Aloha Petroleum has since closed the non-compliant cesspool and replaced it with an approved wastewater system.
  • U‘ilani Associates owns and operates the U‘ilani Plaza, a multi-unit commercial building in Kamuela. The company paid a $6,000 fine and replaced the cesspool with a Hawai‘i Department of Health approved wastewater system.
  • Maui Varieties Investments, Inc., which owns two Big Island hardware stores and a commercial property, is closing four LCCs at its properties in Na‘alehu, Kamuela and Hilo and paid a $134,000 penalty.
  • Matheson Tri-Gas facility, a commercial gas supply company in Campbell Industrial Park, Kapolei, O‘ahu closed two LCCs and converted to a septic system. The company agreed to pay a civil penalty of $88,374 and to spend an estimated $50,000 on a supplemental environmental project to close an on-site small-capacity cesspool. Matheson completed its work and converted to a septic system at the end of 2017.
  • Fileminders of Hawai‘i, LLC, which operated a prohibited cesspool in Kapolei, and Hawai‘i MMGD, the company’s owner, were assessed a civil penalty of $122,000. In June, the cesspool was closed and the company installed an individual wastewater system.
  • The U.S. Navy paid a civil penalty of $94,200 and closed nine LCCs at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The Navy had closed six cesspools in 2012, but had failed to close the remaining three in a timely manner. The three remaining cesspools served an estimated 160 people at three separate facilities. The Navy has since closed the non-compliant cesspools.

For more information on the large-capacity cesspool ban and definition of a large-capacity cesspool, click here.

More Hawaii Teachers Obtain Certification

The Hawai‘i Department of Education announces that 56 teachers were honored Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, for earning or renewing their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification. Educators who earn this certification have demonstrated that they meet the highest standards for teaching, and must be up-to-date with the latest strategies and best practices in education.

Hawaii is ranked 11th in the nation for percentage of National Board Certified Teachers. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto addressed the teachers at the 2018 Hawai‘i National Board Certified Teacher Ceremony hosted by the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association and Kamehameha Schools at the Hawai‘i State Capitol Auditorium.

“We are proud of these teachers for their efforts to elevate their profession and provide enhanced learning opportunities for Hawai‘i’s students,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Earning this certification is no easy task and I commend them for taking on this additional workload and responsibility. Congratulations to these teachers, their families and schools on this remarkable accomplishment.”

Hawai‘i is ranked 11th in the nation for percentage of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), and boasts one of the fastest growing populations of NBCTs. There are currently 625 teachers who earned their certification.

“In 2017, The Aloha state added 56 new NBCTs reflecting a 10 percent jump in their total,”added NBCT president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Peggy Brookins. This means more students across your state being taught by teachers who prove they teach to the highest standards. Every student deserves to be taught by an accomplished teacher.”

The NBCT certification is a rigorous process that can take anywhere between one to three years and involves applicants submitting comprehensive portfolio. The renewal process is just as demanding and requires teachers to show professional growth.

Tracey Idica, teacher at Aiea High School and HSTA NBCT network affiliate, shared, “This is how teachers are taking back their profession. Doctors can become Board Certified, accountants can become CPAs, and now teachers can become NBCTs. It’s a voluntary process but its the way we can show the community that we are accomplished teachers.”

The following teachers earned their certification in 2017:

  • Jennifer Ainoa, Molokai Middle
  • Lori Cabalar, Keaau Elementary
  • Jane Cariaga, Pahoa Elementary
  • Tanya Cobbin, Waipahu High
  • Patricia Contee, Salt Lake Elementary
  • Chris Cordell, Hawaii Technology Academy
  • Alexander Cyran, Keaau Middle
  • Jill Harai, Iliahi Elementary
  • Danielle Hartwick, Makawao Elementary
  • Liane Ibara, Palolo Elementary
  • Michael Ibara, Puuhale Elementary
  • Cheryl Iwasaki, Helemano Elementary
  • Qurratulay Joy, Makawao Elementary
  • Mara Kaizawa-Miyata, McKinley High
  • Naomi Kamauoha, Palolo Elementary
  • Dawn Kanoho, Momilani Elementary
  • Kellee Kelly, Keaau Elementary
  • Samantha Kodama, Kaimuki Middle
  • Laurel Latimer, Makawao Elementary
  • Christine Layton, Hawaii Technology Academy
  • Jamie Letreta, Holomua Elementary
  • Erin Medeiros, Kauai High
  • Elaine Medina, Makaha Elementary
  • Nikki Morishige, Waiahole Elementary
  • Cheryl Motoyama, Red Hill Elementary
  • Lisa Nakama, Kaneohe Elementary
  • Shanna Nakamura, Aliiolani Elementary
  • Laura Obuhanych, Holomua Elementary
  • Lisa Oka, Wahiawa Elementary
  • Elizabeth Okamoto, Webling Elementary
  • Sonia Orlando, Waianae Elementary
  • Sandra Oshiro, Momilani Elementary
  • Robyn Panem, Keaau Elementary
  • Suzanne Reed, Ahuimanu Elementary
  • Tamie Richardson, Kaimiloa Elementary
  • Catherine Ritti, Farrington High
  • Jennifer Sarpi, Campbell High
  • Mari Sato, Enchanted Lake Elementary
  • Sheena Shimose, Leihoku Elementary
  • Jessica Sleeper, Kamaile Academy
  • Aysha Spencer, Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary
  • Hannibal Starbuck, Baldwin High
  • Stefanie Sweeney, Waikiki Elementary
  • Jamie Takamura, Red Hill Elementary
  • Jennifer Valenzuela, Lahainaluna High
  • Maile Viela, Waihee Elementary
  • Lynn Wakahiro, Momilani Elementary
  • Amanda Watson, Kailua Intermediate
  • Elizabeth Williams, Campbell High
  • Jill Yamasawa, Kapolei Middle

For more information about the certification and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, click here.

HPD Seeking Missing Woman Last Seen in Pāhoa

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Krystina Marie Crume who has been reported as missing. She was last seen in Pāhoa.

Krystina Marie Crume

She is described as being 5-feet-8-inches, 200 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

If you have information on her whereabouts please contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.