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Hawaii Department of Health Fines Aloha Petroleum, LTD., $200,000 for Fuel Tank Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health Underground Storage Tank (UST) Section has issued a Notice of Violation against Aloha Petroleum, Ltd., the registered owner and operator of four 10,000-gallon underground storage tanks at its fuel service station located at 3203 Monsarrat Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Aloha Petroleum has been cited for failing to notify the department of a suspected fuel release within 24 hours of discovery, failing to conduct a timely investigation of the release, and deficiencies related to its release detection monitoring and record keeping system.

Aloha Petroleum has been assessed a $200,000 penalty and may request a hearing to contest the allegations and order.

DOH regulates USTs that hold petroleum or hazardous substances. Failure on the part of UST owners and operators to timely report suspected releases, unusual operating conditions and the loss of product may result in increased clean-up costs for petroleum contamination to the environment.

Costco Violates Hawaii HI-5 Rule – Ordered to Pay Fine

Costco Wholesale Corporation has paid a fine of $4,799.40 for violating State deposit beverage container (DBC) requirements.On April 24, 2017, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) sent a Request for Information letter to Costco requesting that the company submit sales information for auditing purposes. Despite more than 15 emails and telephone calls, Costco remained non-cooperative in providing the requested information in violation of the DBC Program audit authority specified in Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-121.

DOH issued a Notice of Violation and Order (NOVO) against the company on June 13, 2017. Costco paid an administrative fine of $4,799.40 on July 12, 2017. Costco also provided the requested sales information and submitted a letter summarizing its procedure for generating sales data, satisfying the compliance requirements set forth in the NOVO.

Darren Park, manager of the department’s Deposit Beverage Container Program, said it is important for wholesalers and distributors to comply with requests from the DOH which administers the “HI-5” recycling program.

“The program relies on self-reported data, so the department conducts audits and inspection activities to ensure accuracy and completeness of information submitted, which helps to prevent fraud and financial harm to the State,” Park said. “Overall, the recycling program reduces litter at our parks and beaches and has kept billions of bottles and cans out of our garbage.”

More than 600 million deposit beverage containers are recycled annually at certified redemption centers that otherwise would be landfilled or end up littering Hawaii’s environment. Since 2005, Hawaii’s residents have recycled nearly 8 billion deposit beverage containers through the DBC Program.

Old Airport Park in Kona to be Closed August 9 and 10 for Clean-up

The Department of Parks and Recreation will be closing the Old Airport Park in Kona from 7:00 am on Wednesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 10, 2017, to facilitate community clean-up efforts.Anyone camping at or using the park is being asked to leave prior to and during the park closure and clean up. Under Hawai‘i County Code (Section 15-39), camping in the park will not be allowed after the park clean up.

“Social service agencies, County Office of Housing and Community Development, Parks and Recreation personnel, and Hawai‘i Police Department are actively making site visits, and notifying people camping at the park about transitional/emergency shelters around the island,” said Charmaine Kamaka, Director of Parks and Recreation.

Various County departments, community groups, organizations and individuals are assisting with the clean-up event, and Parks and Recreation is seeking volunteers to help with clean-up efforts.

If you would like to volunteer or for more information please contact Charmaine Kamaka at 961-8561 or Charmaine.Kamaka@hawaiicounty.gov.

Sewer Spill in Vicinity of Wailuku River, Kaipalaoa Landing

Location of Discharge: Vicinity of Wailuku River and Kaipalaoa Landing, Hilo, Hawai‘i

Description:  Discharge of untreated wastewater at shoreline in the vicinity of Wailuku River and Kaipalaoa Landing in Hilo, Hawai‘i

Cause of Discharge:  The cause of the discharge was due to wastewater entering the Storm Drain system from a broken sewer lateral at the corner of Waiānuenue Avenue and Kino‘ole St.

Remedial Action Taken:  While the discharge into the Storm Drai n system was small and estimated to be in the order of one (1) gallon per hour; the shoreline area in the vicinity of the Storm Drain discharge has been posted with Warning Signs in accordance with State of Hawai‘i, Department of Health requirements and the sign-posted area is closed to recreational activity until further notice.

The Wastewater Division is testing shoreline waters in the vicinity of the discharge.  Testing will continue until authorization is obtained from the State of Hawai`i, Department of Health to remove Warning Signs posted in the area.  The County is currently in the process of coordinating repair of the broken sewer lateral.

Napali Coast State Wilderness Park Showing Recovery and Improvement – Additional Arrests Made

A three day operation last week in the Kalalau section of Kauai’s Napali Coast State Wilderness Park resulted in additional arrests and the dismantling of large, illegal camps in Kalalau Valley.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case commented, “Our Divisions of State Parks and Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) are continuing to work together to restore lawfulness to Napali and address the natural and cultural resources damage created by long-term squatters and their illegal camps. These sustained efforts began more than two years ago and are beginning to pay off. Every week we receive correspondence from people who’ve legally hiked into Kalalau and are commenting on how clean the area is and how the number of illegal camps and campers are greatly diminished.”

State Parks Assistant Administrator Alan Carpenter and archaeologist Sean Newsome conducted a rapid reconnaissance of cultural sites in Kalalau Valley a week before the combined clean-up and enforcement operation. Carpenter said, “In my 25 years of visiting Kalalau this is the cleanest I’ve ever seen it in terms of rubbish and illegal campers. The degradation to cultural sites is at an all-time high, however, because those impacts are cumulative, representing decades of abuse. Reversing those impacts and restoring sites is a future goal, requiring a combination of documentation, compliance, staffing and community stewardship. Clearly there is additional work to do to protect the important cultural resources and natural resources in this pristine area, but I’m heartened that the keen focus on Kalalau is definitely showing an improved experience for permitted visitors, who are generally not responsible for the degradation of Napali resources.”

A sure sign of improvement and the fact that the no-tolerance for illegal activity “word” is getting out, several DOCARE Officers report that in every contact they made along the trail, hikers had the required state permit. It is required for travel beyond the two-mile marker at Hanakapiai Stream and allows camping only designated camping areas such as the one at Kalalau Beach. During previous enforcement visits to the wilderness park, officers arrested dozens of people for failing to produce a permit.

DOCARE officers arrested six people for closed-area violations. They also eradicated eight young marijuana plants from an abandoned campsite. Squatters have also established elaborate gardens where they’re growing bananas, papaya, taro and other fruits. Officers provided support for a State Parks maintenance team, which removed 15 large illegal camps, plus additional smaller ones and gear stashes. Two and a half tons of rubbish was airlifted by a helicopter in 15 sling loads. Seven State Parks staff and between six and twelve DOCARE officers were involved daily during last week’s operation.

“These combined operations are logistically complex, costly and deplete operational funds that could be applied at other state parks,” said State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell. “A critical method to enhance public safety, protect significant historic features and to ultimately insure the quality of the wildness experience is to create permanent staff with specific equipment for Kalalau. Dedicated staff will have communication access to deter the return of illegal camping and insure authorized limits, helping eliminate the overuse of composting toilets, provide additional campsite and trail maintenance service on a daily basis, direct campers to the authorized camping areas, further inform campers about on site safety issues and the sensitivity and history of cultural sites, and support both hikers and kayakers who may sustain injuries in this remote and unique wilderness destination,” Cottrell added.

The Division of State Parks is expected to renew its request to the 2018 Hawai‘i State Legislature to provide funding for full-time staff to support the management of Hawai‘i’s largest and most remote state park.

Pāhoa HI-5 Certified Redemption Center Closing

Effective July 1, 2017, the Pāhoa HI-5 Certified Redemption Center located at the Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station will be closed until further notice.

The transfer station will remain open.

The close proximity of another certified redemption center, about a half-mile away,  resulted in an unexpected increase in cost to continue services when the Pāhoa site’s operations contract was re-bid.

Due to this increase in cost and the close proximity of the alternate center, the site will be closed for the time being; the Department plans to re-bid the site, and possibly reopen it at a later date.

Please see the schedule below for the alternate sites and operating hours:

  • Kea‘au, Atlas Recycling Wednesday, Friday, 8:00am – 3:30pm
  • Kea`au Recycling & Transfer Station Saturday, Sunday, 16-921 Kea‘au-Pahoa Road
  • Pāhoa, Business Services Hawai`i Daily 8:00am – 3:30pm, Pahoa Village Road (Across from the Post Office)

The Department of Environmental Management would like to thank the public for their cooperation and understanding as we work with our contractors to make the HI-5 program as convenient as possible.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the closure of the Pāhoa HI-5 Certified Redemption Center.

For more information and a complete list of Certified Redemption Centers in Hawai`i County please visit www.hawaiizerowaste.org, or contact Craig Kawaguchi at ckawaguchi@hawaiicounty.gov

EPA Requires County of Hawaii to Close Large Cesspools – Reaches Agreement with Aloha Island Mart

Agency also reaches agreement with Aloha Island Mart in Captain Cook over LCC violation

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with the County of Hawaii to close seven large capacity cesspools (LCCs) that serve the Pahala and Naalehu communities. The County will replace the cesspools with wastewater treatment systems approved by the Hawaii Department of Health.

In a separate action, EPA reached an agreement with Aloha Petroleum, Ltd. requiring the company to pay a civil penalty of $57,500 for its 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 operated an illegal LCC until 2014. Aloha Petroleum has since closed the non-compliant cesspool and replaced it with an approved wastewater system.

Click to read the consent agreement

An LCC is a cesspool that serves multiple residential dwellings or a commercial facility with the capacity to serve 20 or more people per day. Cesspools collect and discharge waterborne pollutants like untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. LCCs were banned under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in April 2005.

The agreement with the County of Hawaii requires the closure of two LCCs serving the Pahala community, three LCCs serving the Naalehu community, and two LCCs serving the Pahala Elderly Apartments. Combined, the seven cesspools serve about 280 households.

“EPA and the County of Hawaii are taking important steps to close these banned cesspools and replace them with modern wastewater treatment systems,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “These actions will protect Hawaii’s drinking water and coastal resources, as we seek to modernize Big Island water infrastructure.”

In the Pahala and Naalehu communities, the County has developed closure and replacement plans for the cesspools. Newly-constructed secondary wastewater treatment facilities and updated collection systems will come online in 2021 for Pahala and in 2022 for Naalehu. Cesspools serving the Pahala Elderly Apartments will be closed by September 2018 and replaced with septic systems. The agreement also includes specific reporting requirements and allows for stipulated penalties should the county fail to meet agreed-upon deadlines.

Construction of the new treatment and disposal facilities will be financed in part with federal grants and low-interest loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program. Under the agreement, an additional 95 properties in the Pahala and Naalehu communities not currently served by the LCCs will also be connected to the new county sewer systems.

Cesspools are used more widely in Hawaii than in any other state, despite the fact that 95 percent of all drinking water in Hawaii comes from groundwater sources. over 3,000 large capacity cesspools have been closed state-wide, many through voluntary compliance.

For more information on this specific agreement visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/hawaii-cesspools-administrative-orders#hawaii

For more information on the large capacity cesspool ban and definition of a large capacity cesspool, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii

14,105 Pounds of Donations Saved From Trash During Student Housing Move-Out

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Student Housing Services managed to gather more than 14,105 pounds of items for donation during the weekend of residence hall move-out at the end of spring 2017 semester.

Nicole Chatterson (right) and Eunice Yamada led student efforts to divert 45 mini-fridges from the landfill.

Students and staff juggled commencement and the end-of-semester move out rush to donate 9,554 pounds of clothes and 4,551 pounds of miscellaneous items to the Boys and Girls Club and the Kidney Foundation.

In addition to these items, the UH Office of Sustainability teamed up with the Surfrider UH Club to rescue 45 abandoned mini-fridges from the waste stream. These mini-fridges will be offered to incoming student residents in fall 2017.

“I never thought I’d be making the effort to recycling anything larger than plastic bottles until I realized refrigerators were being abandoned,” said Erika Peralta, Co-Chair of the Surfrider UH Club. “Not only did I consider the accumulation of waste, but I also thought about how we might help relieve some pressure on student budgets by facilitating the re-use of these mini-fridges.”

“While there is a lot of effort put into making move-out sustainable, it’s not yet a zero-waste system,” said David Akana, associate director of student housing services. “Residence hall dumpsters around this time of year are overflowing with quality, re-usable goods ranging from hydro-flasks, to fans, to kitchen utensils. We’re excited to partner with students to do even better with our waste diversion and reduction efforts next year.”

“Some of the waste reduction challenges faced in student housing, such as the need for outreach campaigns focused on waste minimization and system design, are experienced elsewhere on campus,” said Nicole Chatterson, UH Office of Sustainability student coordinator. “If we can pilot and refine effective systems with SHS, we will be better prepared to address systemic waste issues and move UH towards zero-waste practices.”

Hawaii Joins “We are Still In” Coalition in Support of Paris Climate Agreement

Following President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Hawaii Governor David Ige and Attorney General Doug Chin joined forces with governors, mayors, business leaders and universities across the country pledging to maintain their commitment to fighting climate change and abiding by the principles of the global agreement.

Attorney General Doug Chin

Attorney General Chin said, “I am proud to stand beside both Governor Ige and many of my fellow attorneys general as a signatory to the “We are Still In” Coalition. Climate change is of unique importance to our island state, and I will be working with my fellow attorneys general to find ways to act effectively, even when the federal government won’t.”

In addition to Attorney General Chin, other state attorneys general joining the coalition today include California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

President Trump announced on June 1 that the United States would break ranks with more than 190 countries and leave the historic global commitment that entered into force in November 2016. The signatories to the “We are Still In” coalition, today released the following statement:

“We, the undersigned mayors, governors, attorneys general, college and university leaders and businesses are joining forces for the first time to declare, that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

In December 2015 in Paris, world leaders signed the first global commitment to fight climate change. The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them. In addition, nations – inspired by the actions of local and regional governments, along with businesses – came to recognize that fighting climate change brings significant economic and public health benefits. 

The Trump administration’s announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. Importantly, it is also out of step with what is happening in the United States.

In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.

In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.

It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”

The Paris Climate Agreement requires participating countries to limit global warming to well below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from preindustrial levels and encourages them to pursue efforts to keep temperature increases to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The “We Are Still In” coalition pledges to ensure that despite the country’s exit from the agreement the United States will continue to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Maps of Cesspools on Hawaii Island and Hilo – 90,000 Banned Statewide By 2050

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency required the County of Hawaii to close 7 large cesspools here on the Big Island of Hawai.

Hawaii House Bill 1244 has passed and is headed to Governor Ige to sign into law.

Cesspools on the Island of Hawaii.

The bill as written would ban the currently 90,000 cesspools that are already here in Hawaii (50,000 of those on the Big Island alone) by the year 2050.

Cesspools in Hilo (I did not zoom into each TMK property… I just checked to make sure I was in the clear!)

Hawaii House Bill 1244:

According to the Hawaii Department of Health:

Cesspools are substandard systems.  They don’t treat wastewater, they merely dispose of it. Cesspools concentrate the wastewater in one location, often deep within the ground and in direct contact with groundwater, causing groundwater contamination.  This groundwater flows into drinking water wells, streams and the ocean, harming public health and the environment, including beaches and coral reefs.

 What are cesspools?

  • Cesspools are little more than holes in the ground that discharge raw, untreated human waste.
  • Cesspools can contaminate ground water, drinking water sources, streams and oceans with disease-causing pathogens, algae-causing nutrients, and other harmful substances.
  • Untreated wastewater from cesspools contains pathogens such as bacteria, protozoa and viruses that can cause gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A, conjunctivitis, leptospirosis, salmonellosis and cholera.

 How many cesspools do we have in Hawai`i?

  •  There are approximately 90,000 cesspools in the State, with nearly 50,000 located on the Big Island,  almost 14,000 on Kauai, over  12,000 on Maui, over 11,000 on Oahu and over 1,400 on Molokai.
  •  Hawai`i is the only state in the US that still allows construction of new cesspools.
  •  Approximately 800 new cesspools are approved for construction in Hawai`i each year.

How many cesspools pose a risk to our water resources and how do they impact our environment?

  •  There are 87,000 cesspools that pose a risk to our water resources.
  •  There are approximately 6,700 cesspools that are located within 200 feet of a perennial stream channel  throughout the State.  There  are approximately 31,000 cesspools that are located within the perennial  watersheds on the islands of Hawai`i, Kauai, Maui, and  Molokai.
  •  Cesspools in Hawai`i release approximately 55 million gallons of untreated sewage into the ground each  day.
  •  Cesspools in Hawai`i release as much as 23,700 pounds of nitrogen and nearly 6,000 pounds of  phosphorus into the ground each  day each day, which can stimulate undesirable algae growth, degrade  water quality, and impact coral reefs.

Click here to see if your property needs certification or is near a cesspool: Act 120 Eligibility Cesspool Finder

Japan Tsunami Gift Fund Supported Removal and Detection – How Was Hawaii’s $250,000 Spent?

After the devastating tsunami generated by the 9.0 earthquake that struck the coastal areas of Japan’s Tōhoku Region on March 11, 2011, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment estimated that 1.5 million tons of floating debris had been swept into the ocean. This unprecedented single pulse of marine debris drifted offshore and was eventually swept out to sea by oceanic currents to enter circulation in the North Pacific Ocean. This debris impacted western shores of the continental U.S., Canada, as well as Hawaii.

In 2013, the State of Hawaii received a portion of a $5 million diplomatic monetary gift offered to the United States by the Government of Japan. The gift was intended to help the affected U.S. states address Japan tsunami marine debris or “JTMD”. An initial distribution of $250,000 was made to each of the affected states: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. In Hawaii, the Department of Health (DOH) represented the State in a Memorandum of Agreement with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which had been designated as administrator of the JTMD Gift Fund. The Department of Land and Natural Resources was designated as the expending agency, so in November 2013 the funds were transferred from DOH to DLNR and subsequently used to support projects in three general areas:  removal, aquatic invasive species monitoring, and detection.

REMOVAL PROJECTS:  $91,712.66

DLNR staff routinely removes and disposes of marine debris.  When an item exceeds in-house capabilities, contracted services by qualified commercial entities are procured.

  • Contract for services: Removal & disposal of the side of a shipping container on Kauai  $3,875.51
  • Landfill fee for disposal of damaged JTMD vessel on Oahu $219.90
  • Contract for services: Removal of damaged JTMD vessel on Kauai $8,000.00
  • Contract for services: Removal & disposal of 20-ft diameter mooring buoy on Hawaii Island  $28,500.00
  • Purchase of a utility task vehicle for transporting heavy items out of areas inaccessible to larger vehicles and that would otherwise require access on foot    $12,321.79
  • Small equipment for removal of a JTMD boat by sea from a Maui beach site inaccessible to truck and trailer required for street transport  $1,438.22
  • Marine Debris Cleanup Project for a beach at Kanapou, Kahoolawe that included transporting staff and volunteers by boat, camping for four days, transporting the collected marine debris by helicopter to Maui for final disposal at the landfill, and bringing communications staff to Maui to document the activity  $24,716.12
  • Reimbursement for staff time for various JTMD removal activities during 2013-2015   $12,641.12

 AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES MONITORING PROJECTS:  $44,902.05

Marine debris can carry alien species hitchhikers attached to the debris and travel great distances via oceanic currents and wind. If successful at colonizing in new locations, some species have the potential to become invasive and disrupt local marine ecosystems. Researchers have identified over 70 non-native species associated with JTMD landing on Hawai‘i shorelines.  In response to the concern of establishment of non-native species via JTMD, monitoring was conducted to investigate JTMD biofouling species in 2015.  The first deployed a small team of biologists to do visual in-water surveys of nine landing sites on Kauai that were previously known to have been exposed to JTMD-transported alien species. The second project utilized advanced techniques in collaboration with other scientists monitoring JTMD landing sites in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

  • AIS Monitoring Project on Kauai        $3,345.87
  • AIS Monitoring Project on Oahu         $41,556.18

DETECTION PROJECTS:  $69,165.46

DLNR conducted the first state-wide shoreline marine debris survey to census the number and type of marine debris and identify debris accumulation sites.  Aerial survey techniques and analysis were used to estimate the number and type of marine debris distributed throughout the main Hawaiian Islands In early 2015 DLNR biologists applied for a grant to conduct aerial surveys, and received partial funding ($65,000) from a collaborative international group of researchers, the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (“PICES”).  The JTMD Gift Fund was used to supplement the PICES grant, enabling complete coverage of all shorelines of the main Hawaiian Islands. In the fall of 2015, the high resolution aerial images were successfully collected, the first such effort in the State of Hawai‘i. Analysis of the images followed through a contract with the University of Hawai‘i.

  • Contract for Aerial Survey of Main Hawaiian Islands $37,994.76
  • Aerial Survey Post-Image Processing Contract         $31,170.70

MARINE DEBRIS COORDINATOR:  $44,219.83

Since marine debris response activities are conducted by various DLNR staff with many other duties, a dedicated marine debris coordinator position was created through a seven month contract with the University of Hawaii.  This position contributed support for all of the project areas as well as database management and outreach activities related to JTMD.

After the initial distribution of $250K to each of the five Pacific states, the remainder of the $5 million gift fund was held in reserve for specific subsequent requests. This diplomatic monetary gift was unprecedented in U.S. history. Managing it at national and state levels required adapting existing protocols for accounting and expenditures, and sometimes processing could be a bit challenging. In the end, however, the diplomatic gift helped fill a gap for the previously unfunded liability of marine debris and through the projects it supported, bring more public awareness to this international problem.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites Beverage Distributors for HI-5 Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued Notices of Violation and Order against seven local beverage distributors for failure to comply with the State’s Deposit Beverage Container law.

Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit semi-annual or monthly reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period.

Delinquent semi-annual reporting companies cited:

  • Jugo Life, located at 2463 South King Street in Moiliili
  • Monsarrat Juice Co., dba Shaka Pressed Juice, at 3118 Monsarrat Avenue near Diamond Head
  • Dragononi Inc., dba Hawaiianola, at 89-1368 Mamalahoa Highway on Hawaii Island
  • Penta Water Company, LLC in Colton, California
  • Pressed Juicery Hawaii, LLC at 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard #1375

Delinquent monthly reporting companies cited:

  • Hawaiian Springs, LLC at 3375 Koapaka Street in Honolulu.
  • Eurpac Service, Inc. in Norwalk, Connecticut

Companies were assessed with administrative penalty fees ranging between $400 and $3,240. They were also provided an opportunity to request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty. To date, Shaka Pressed Juice and Eurpac Sevice, Inc., have complied with the enforcement order. The companies submitted a corrective action plan and paid the penalty in full.

“Distributors are reminded to comply with all upcoming deadlines and requirements to avoid penalty fees,” states Deposit Beverage Container Program Manager Darren Park. “Late distributor payments and reports negatively affect the accurate calculations of redemptions rates and impact the DBC funds used to recycle redeemed containers.”

Kona Brewing Company Sponsoring Earth Day Beach Clean-Up

Kona Brewing Co. employees will embrace the spirit of Earth Day on Saturday April 22, 2017 with a clean-up at Ke‘ei Beach, a site of historical significance. Ke‘ei Beach was the site of King Kamehameha the Great’s first battle where he fought for rule over the Big Island. Today, this battleground is a popular fishing and camping spot that collects unsightly trash along the coastline.

The Kona Brew Pub crew will meet at 8 AM to clean up fishing line, plastic, and other debris that mar the marine sanctuary and pose hazards to turtles and other marine life that call Kealakekua Bay home. “We wanted to do something to help the local marine environment” explains Debbie Jost, Kona Brewing Pub and Growler Shack Manager. “We’ll also donate a portion of proceeds from Big Wave sales at both of our brew pubs this week to community partners who work year-round to care for our ocean.”

Kona Brewing Co. will give a portion of proceeds from sales of Big Wave Golden Ale, the ‘Hipa Hipa’ beer special at its Hawaii Kai and Kona pubs between April 18th-22nd to long-time environmental partners Sustainable Coastlines, Surfrider Foundation, Malama Maunalua, and Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative. Kona Brewing Co. donates more than $120,000 annually to a variety of local non-profit organizations that are committed to preserving Hawaii’s unique environmental and cultural treasures.

Employees will be joined by their families and even some brewpub regulars who have expressed interest in helping out. The Earth Day project will wrap with a beach barbecue to celebrate a successful clean-up. Follow the progress on Earth Day on Instagram @KonaBrewingCo. Before and after images will be available after the clean-up.

The Earth Day campaign is part of a company-wide commitment by Kona Brewing Co. to the community, environment, and sustainability.

West Hawaii Forum – Hawaii Island’s Wastewater: Problems, Plans, Clean Water?

Hawaii’s coastline is threatened by land-based pollutants, including sewage, which affect water quality, coastal habitats. Recent beach closures in both Hilo and Kona due to water contamination illustrate the scope of water pollution problems facing Hawai’i County.

Join us this Thursday, April 20th, for the West Hawai’i Forum on Wastewater and learn about Hawai’i Island’s options and share your concerns about a growing water pollution problem with ramifications for the Community’s overall growth management and sustainability goals.

  • DATE: April 20th (Thursday)
  • TIME: 6 PM – 8 PM
  • WHERE: West Hawaii Civic Center, Council Chambers

Doors will open at 5:30 pm. This program is free and open to the public. Special thanks and acknowledgements to Scout Troop 79 and Robert Leopoldino of McDonalds for their event support.

The Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant in Kona processes 1.7 million gallons daily of so-called graywater — this beginning point is not the final destination of treated sewage and graywater effluent which sweeps in Hawaii’s pristine marine environment.

Wastewater outlets impact water quality in Hawaii Island’s coastal waters and have consequences for critical habitat areas and marine species. These impacts also extend to the island’s local economy, including; tourism, coastal recreation, fisheries, and property values.

Learn about Hawai’i Island’s options in addressing a water pollution problem with ramifications for the Community’s overall growth management and sustainability goals.

West Hawaii Forum Presenters:

  • William Kucharski – Director, Department of Environmental Management, Hawai’i County
  • Rick Gaffney – President, Rick Gaffney & Associates
  • Karen Eoff – Councilperson, Hawai’i County Council, District 8
  • Maile David – Councilperson, Hawai’i County Council, District 6

Moderator:  Jamie Borromeo Akau Community Enterprises

Join the discussion online at http://www.westhawaiiforum.org/event/wastewater‐treatment/

15,000 lbs of Fishing Nets from Hawai’i Island Heading to “Nets-to-Energy” Program

Last Saturday, Hawai’i Wildlife Fund (HWF) and 8 volunteers loaded another 15,000 pounds of derelict fishing nets and bundles of line into a 40′ Matson container. This is the 10th container that has been filled by HWF since 2005.  HWF saves the nets it collects from marine debris cleanup events along the shoreline for inclusion in NOAA’s “nets to energy” partnership. Hawai’i was the first in the country to have a program like this in which these marine debris items are converted to electricity rather than going into a landfill. Now, many ports around the mainland US have similar strategies for this “fishing for energy” framework.

Net pile with 16 months worth of collection by HWF on Hawai’i Island

“This work would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteers who help Hawaii Wildlife Fund with these ocean debris removal efforts every year. In particular, this net loading was made possible due to the generous donation by JD Services, LLC of a tractor and operator for the day, and the County of Hawaii for allowing us to store these nets at the Nā‘āhelu transfer station in between container loads,” said Megan Lamson, HWF Program Director for Hawaii Island.

Here in Hawaii, Matson Navigation provides the 40′ container and free shipping of this type of marine debris from outer islands to O’ahu. Then, Schnitzer Steel, a metal recycling company, cuts the nets into smaller pieces before they are delivered to the Covanta H-power Plant in Kapolei. There, they are burned and converted to electricity for the City and County of Honolulu.

Megan Lamson controlling winch pulling a large net off the Ka’ū coast.

The vast majority of these nets were pulled off the remote and rocky Ka’ū coastline. Six large net bundles (~1,200 lbs) were pulled out of the ocean by boaters in West Hawai’i and dropped off at Honokōhau Harbor earlier in 2017.

Lamson says, “HWF is committed to removing marine debris from along our shorelines and working with local residents, businesses and government representatives to reduce the amount of plastic that finds its way into the ocean. Plastic pollution is a serious problem that now impacts most life forms that live in the ocean or use the ocean as a food source. But, it’s a problem with an obvious solution. We must start reducing our usage of plastics, especially single-use plastics in order to protect the health of the ocean, and the health of the wildlife and people who depend on the ocean – all of us!”

Sen. Kahele & Rep. Todd Urge County of Hawaii to Reconsider Terminating East Hawaii Organics Facility Contract

We write to express our sincere concern regarding the County of Hawaii’s recent decision to terminate the East Hawaii Organics Facility Contract.

As you are well aware, the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill has a remaining usable life of one to three years and the County has worked hard to find a solution to this problem.  The proposed composting facility is the perfect antidote to this issue and will provide multiple benefits to our community, such as diverting 54% of our County’s organic waste, providing nutrient rich compost to our vital agricultural industry, eliminating invasive species through enhanced mulching aw well as promoting a renewed sense of self sustainability and recycling education on our Island.

The project would work with all Department of Education schools on our island by directing all food waste, paper, compostable dishes, and plastics to the landfill at $21.25 per ton, $63.75 less than what it currently cost.  It would also enable us to educate and instill in our State’s next generation the value of composting, sustainability, and what it truly means to reduce, reuse, and recycle.  This project can be a model for the rest of the State and we have no doubt would be implemented statewide in a few years.  We envision every Island; one day will have its own organic composting facility.

In addition there are potentially several new initiatives to stimulate the agriculture industry on our Island and part of these initiatives require the availability of nutrient rich compost to encourage farming and growing our own food among local farmers and private residents.  The proposed composting facility will produce 40 tons of organic, naturally rich compost once fully operational and this can have a major impact on the agriculture and horticulture industry on Hawai’i Island as well as future farming sustainability initiatives.

The proposed composting facility will also directly address our Islands invasive species epidemic by converting green waste and untreated wood pallets to enhanced mulch and heating it to a specific temperature that will eliminate all known invasive species to include: rapid ohia death, little red fire ants, coqui frogs, coconut rhinoceros beetle, coffee berry borer and the banana bunchy top virus.  Although this process is already occurring at the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill, the enhanced mulch from the composting facility would be of better quality and a product that would be safe for our farmers and community.  This enhanced mulch, in high demand in East Hawai’i, would continue to be distributed at no cost and would substantially decrease the mulch currently imported from the U.S. Mainland.

We also understand the concerns of our neighbors in Pana’ewa and Keaukaha and the proposed sites proximity to the Department of Hawaiian Homes Land agricultural farm lots.  These concerns must be addressed and there are alternate sites in East Hawai’i that the proposed project could be relocated to.  We are willing to work with the County to locate an alternative site on State land should the project be allowed to proceed.

Finally, we are concerned that the termination of this project, which was approved unanimously by the previous County Council that provided for the issuance of a $10.6 million bond, will send the negative message to private industry and investors that the County of Hawai’i does not honor its contractual obligations and decisions. Pending litigation to recover costs associated with the contract termination could amount to millions of dollars in legal fees that County taxpayers will have to shoulder.  This is clearly not in the County’s best interests.

In conclusion, we strongly urge the County of Hawai’i to reconsider terminating this critically important project.

Sincerely,

Hawai’i State Senator Kaiali’i Kahele and Hawai’i State Representative Chris Todd

Pahoa Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event Tomorrow

Bring your own automotive fluids, chemicals and poisons and other hazardous household wastes to the Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station collection area on March 5th, 2017. Business, farm, non-profit or government agency waste are NOT allowed. Electronic waste (e-waste) is also NOT allowed.

There will not be a concurrent collection at this event for reusable latex paints. Take your reusable latex paints to the Kea‘au Recycling & Reuse Center at the Kea‘au Recycling & Transfer Station year-round.

Customers should pack their items in spill-proof containers and be careful when transporting them to the event. When at the event please remain in your vehicle in line until authorized personnel come to unload your vehicle. For your safety and the safety of those around you please do not walk your hazardous materials over to the authorized personnel in the restricted area, this precaution is to prevent spillage, accidents and ensure fairness to those already waiting in line. Mahalo for your kōkua.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication (including language interpreting) or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in this event should contact Chris at 961-8554 as soon as possible, but no later February 17, 2017.

For full details on what materials are and are not accepted please visit our Household Hazardous Waste page.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites Hawaiian Isles Water Company for HI-5 Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Hawaiian Isles Water Company for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the state’s Deposit Beverage Container law. The department found Hawaiian Isles Water Company delinquent for the monthly reporting period of July 1 – 31, 2016 and a penalty fee of $3,600 was assessed.

Hawaiian Isles Water Company complied with the department’s enforcement order by submitting its required corrective action plan and paying in full the entire penalty and late distributor payment.

Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit monthly reports and payments to the Department of Health no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. Hawaiian Isles Water Company received multiple written notices reminding them of reporting requirements prior to being assessed a penalty.

Since January 2005, Hawaii’s Deposit Beverage Container (DBC) program has assisted residents to recycle more than 7 billion containers. Through recycling, consumers are helping to remove beverage containers from the waste stream and reduce litter in the community. The DBC program certifies independent recycling companies to operate Certified Redemption Centers (CRCs) statewide. CRCs provide Hawaii consumers with refunds of the five cent deposit fee that is paid for eligible containers. Beverage distributors submit payments and reports to the program each month for all HI-5 containers sold within the state.

Department of Health Cites Island Recycling, Inc. for Water Pollution Violations at Kapolei and Dillingham Facilities

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Island Recycling, Inc. at both its Kapolei and Dillingham facilities located at 91-140 Kaomi Loop in Kapolei and 1803 Dillingham Blvd in Honolulu respectively.

The company has been cited for failing to comply with Hawaii’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for industrial storm water discharges. DOH has ordered Island Recycling to pay a penalty of $25,400, clean the affected drainage ditch on its property in Kapolei, and take corrective actions at both its Kapolei and Dillingham facilities to prevent the facilities’ from discharging polluted storm water to nearby storm drains and state waters. The company may contest the order and request a hearing within 20 days.

Island Recycling has NPDES permit coverage for both its Kapolei and Dillingham facilities under Hawaii’s General Permit authorizing discharges of industrial storm water. However, during inspections performed in June 2014 and subsequent file reviews, DOH found the facilities were not implementing controls to properly prevent polluted storm water discharges. The company had also placed discarded materials and equipment in a drainage ditch that is recognized as a state water body and protected by state and federal regulations. In addition to inadequate storm water controls at the facilities, Island Recycling also failed to submit Discharge Monitoring Reports required by the NPDES General Permit that are vital to determining the safety and quality of the facilities’ storm water discharges.

The Clean Water Act prohibits discharging pollutants through a point source into state waters unless it is allowed by an NPDES permit. The permit contains limits on what can be safely discharged, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not hurt water quality or people’s health. The permit translates general requirements of the Clean Water Act into specific provisions tailored to the operations of facilities discharging pollutants. For information on the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System go to www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-permit-basics.

The DOH Clean Water Branch regulates, permits, and inspects a variety of industrial facilities ranging from construction sites to landfills and recycling facilities to ensure that these facilities do not pollute Hawaii’s waters especially during rainfall and storm conditions. The Clean Water Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawaii’s residents, visitors, and environment through regulation of high-risk water pollution sources, and education of industrial sectors and the general public. More information about the DOH Clean Water Branch and access to water quality data and files for NPDES permitted facilities is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/cwb/.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites Safeway, Inc. for HI-5 Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against SAFEWAY, INC. (Safeway) for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the state’s deposit beverage container law. Safeway was delinquent for the monthly reporting period of Aug. 1-31, 2016.

Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit monthly distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. Safeway received multiple written notices reminding them of reporting requirements prior to being assessed a penalty.

DOH has assessed an administrative penalty against Safeway of $2,800 for its failure to comply with deposit beverage container requirements.

Safeway may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.