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County Parks Getting Hazardous Materials Inspections

Media Release

County Department of Parks and Recreation facilities are being inspected for hazardous materials under a program initiated by the County in July 2008.

The inspections were begun island-wide last year to develop a catalog of information about hazardous materials in department facilities to be used in conjunction with future construction projects. A second purpose is to develop Department-wide hazardous materials management, repair and response procedures.

The County hired three environmental consulting firms in July 2008 to conduct the inspections to identify hazardous materials and other potentially dangerous conditions at more than 220 buildings on 115 County sites maintained by the Parks and Recreation department.

Three contracts totaling $970,822 were assigned to Enviroservices & Training Center LLC, Myounghee Noh & Associates, and ERM Inc. The firms began inspecting County sites in July 2008 and the reports are expected to be completed over the course of the next several months, but no later than July 2009.

In a report already submitted, the former Department of Motor Vehicles building at old Kona Airport was found to have arsenic in old ceiling tiles that could pose a risk. The building was in use at the time by Kealakehe High School Alternative School. County officials notified the state Department of Education and classes were moved to a trailer that the DOE placed on the site.

County employees who could be affected by such conditions in department facilities will be receiving hazardous materials awareness training for the public’s safety and their own.

The Department is asking for the public’s assistance in preventing the release of potentially

hazardous materials by not pounding nails into facility walls and posts, dislodging ceiling tiles, hanging objects from ceilings or taping items to any surfaces of P&R facilities. These are prohibited activities in County parks.

As the consultants’ reports are completed and the Department acts to address conditions of concern over the next several months, additional inconveniences or program disruptions could occur.

“We are asking for the public’s understanding and cooperation while these inspections are being carried out,” said Bob Fitzgerald, County Parks and Recreation director. “Until all the final reports have been received, it is unclear what our overall hazardous materials inventory will be.”

All of the consultants’ master reports, as they are completed, will be kept at the Department of Parks and Recreation’s administrative office and at affected sites. The reports may be reviewed during regular business hours.

Anyone with questions or concerns regarding Parks and Recreation facilities is encouraged to call Director Bob Fitzgerald at 961-8311.

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