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EPA increases Hawai'i environmental enforcement actions by 67 percent in 2003

Release Date: 12/11/2003
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

HONOLULU--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency increased its enforcement actions against polluters in Hawai'i by 67 percent in 2003 over 2002 efforts.

The EPA took 25 enforcement actions against businesses and government organizations throughout the state for numerous water, hazardous waste, and pesticide violations, up from 15 in 2002.

"A strong enforcement program is one of the primary tools the EPA employs in ensuring companies comply with environmental regulations," said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA's Pacific Southwest Office in San Francisco. "Thanks to our partnerships with the state, tribes and local communities, we are continuing to bring cleaner air, water and land to all residents of Hawai'i."

Nationally, the EPA increased environmental benefits from enforcement actions by 131 percent over 2002 efforts reducing, treating or managing roughly 600 million pounds of pollutants this past year compared to 260 million pounds in 2002.

Below are a number of agency enforcement highlights for Hawai'i for 2003. Please go to for a full description of the EPA's enforcement actions throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in 2003.

Hawai'i highlights include:

-Fines against Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. for violating the agency's experimental use permit. In December 2002 Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences paid fines totaling nearly $20,000 for failing to comply with the EPA's experimental use permit. In April 2003, the EPA again fined Pioneer $72,000 when it failed to immediately notify the agency of earlier test results indicating the presence of the experimental gene in seeds grown nearby.

-A fine of $7,920 to a grocery store in the Chinatown area of Honolulu for illegally selling and distributing unregistered mothballs. Hing Mau Inc. sold naphthalene mothballs that were not registered with the EPA and did not have approved instruction labels. Illegal naphthalene mothballs pose a hazard to young children. Mothballs can be easily mistaken for candy, or simply tempt young children to touch and play with them.

-An enforcement order to the Hawai'i Department of Transportation's Highway Division to immediately comply with Clean Water Act requirements and stop a project in Lihue, Kaua'i where unauthorized stormwater discharges ran off a construction site.

-A compliance order to the City and County of Honolulu to provide additional records and information of sewage spills into Kalihi and Nu'uanu streams. The order requires the city to report what maintenance and repair measures have been taken on the sewage pipes in the Kalihi and Nu'uanu stream areas to control the sewage spills, and to develop plans to eliminate spills in the stream's watersheds.

-A compliance order to the City and Country of Honolulu to correct their monitoring and maintenance violations at the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant which serves Central Oahu and Ewa.

-An administrative order to James Pflueger and Pflueger Properties to stop illegal discharges of polluted stormwater into streams tributary to the ocean. The discharges resulted from improper grading operations at a construction site near Kaloko Reservoir in Kaua'i.

-A fine of $60,000 against West Coast Cleaning and Preservation of Honolulu for four used oil violations discovered during a compliance inspection. West Coast improperly stored and managed used oil at its transfer facility. The now defunct company cleaned tanks and bilges at its local shipyards and other facilities.

-Working jointly with the Hawai'i Department of Health, the EPA fined the U.S. Postal Service in Hawai'i $1,500 for violating federal underground storage tank requirements. Twenty-seven field citations were issued throughout Hawai'i, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

-A settlement with Parker Ranch Foundation and Kau Kau Corporation to pay $66,300 in fines for alleged asbestos removal violations at the Parker Ranch Grill in Kamuela, Hawai'i.

-Fines of $24,966 in a settlement with Victoria Ward Ltd., Island Demo Inc., and Coralco Corp. for alleged asbestos removal violations at Club Laimu in Honolulu.
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