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City and County of Honolulu to pay $82,532 for hazardous waste violations

Release Date: 1/5/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi (808) 541-2711

City improperly stored waste at its Honolulu Corporation Yard

HONOLULU--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with the City and County of Honolulu requiring the municipality to pay $82,532 for hazardous waste violations at its maintenance yard on Oahu.

In June 2001 EPA inspectors discovered violations at the municipality's Honolulu Corporation Yard where the Department of Public Works and the Department of Facility Maintenance store city vehicles, heavy equipment, and road maintenance supplies. The improperly stored waste included old paints and spent thinners.

"Protecting the community, workers and the environment depends on the proper management of hazardous wastes," said Jeff Scott, Director of Waste Programs for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region. "Road and vehicle maintenance facilities of all types need to realize that hazardous waste management regulations are applied and enforced."

Inspectors found that the municipality:

-failed to transfer hazardous wastes from approximately 104 rusted and deteriorated containers into containers in good condition;
-failed to comply with special requirements for ignitable wastes by storing containers of waste paints near the facility's property fence line and adjacent to
a public road;
-stored 147 containers of waste paints on-site for longer than 90 days without a hazardous waste permit;
-failed to inspect hazardous waste containers weekly;
-lacked a hazardous waste training program for its employees and a contingency plan in case of spills.

No spills or environmental cleanup was necessary in the waste storage area. The city departments were very cooperative in responding to the violations and have since corrected the problems found by the inspectors.
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