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EPA Files Complaint Against Hilo Coast Power and Brewer Environmental Industries

Release Date: 8/11/2003
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

Fines could be as high as $137,500 for alleged violations

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed a complaint against Hilo Coast Power Company and Brewer Environmental Industries for allegedly discharging wastewater improperly, lacking stormwater controls and other permit violations.

In January and August 2001, the EPA and the Hawai'i Department of Health inspectors found the alleged Clean Water Act violations at Hilo Coast's Pepeekeo Mill Power Generating Facility on the Big Island.

"The EPA's clean water regulations need to be followed to protect and maintain our ocean water quality," said Alexis Strauss, water division director for the EPA's Pacific Southwest Region. "That is why it's vital that a permitted facility monitor and clean its wastewater before discharging it into the ocean."

Inspectors found that the Pepeekeo Mill Power Generating Facility had:

-unpermitted discharges of process water;
-a lack of controls to prevent stormwater pollution;
-exceeded temperature limits in its discharged water;
-poor housekeeping practices associated with ongoing maintenance activities;
-a lack of stormwater management, which resulted in the discharge of pollutants.

The EPA issued a compliance order to Hilo Coast in March 2001 ordering the company to correct the violations, and modified this order in September 2001 to include additional conditions. The current administrative complaint could lead to fines of up to $137,500 for the alleged violations.

The EPA requires all discharges of water to the ocean to be permitted and monitored to ensure the wastewater meets the EPA and Hawai'i's water quality standards to protect human health and the environment.
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