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EPA proposes partial removal of Del Monte from Superfund List

Release Date: 10/30/2003
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi (808) 541-2711

Public encouraged to comment on proposal over next 30 days

HONOLULU--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed to remove the Poamoho section of Del Monte Corporation's Kunia, Oahu pineapple plantation from the national Superfund list.

Del Monte Fresh Produce has agreed to investigate contamination throughout the site, including a former fumigant drum burial site, a closed underground storage tank site, a former fumigant mixing area and a rag disposal area in the Poamoho section. The main contaminants of concern are the pesticides ethylene dibromide, dibromo-chloropropane, dichloropropane and trichloropropane.

"We are pleased to announce that we found contamination levels far below our stringent, health-based guidelines," said Keith Takata, the EPA's director for the Superfund program in the Pacific Southwest region. "As a result, EPA and the Hawai'i Department of Health have concluded that no cleanup is necessary for the Poamoho section of the site."

The EPA will now focus its efforts on cleaning up soil and groundwater contamination on the southern portion of the federal Superfund site known as the Kunia section.

The Del Monte site consists of the Kunia and Poamoho sections. The Kunia section is south of Wheeler Air Field and Schofield Army Barracks, a separate site removed from the federal Superfund list in 2000. The Poamoho section is north of these facilities.

A 1977 ethylene dibromide spill at the facility prompted local officials to disconnect the nearby Kunia Well after detecting contamination above safe drinking water levels in the well in 1980. Since groundwater flows south, contamination from the Kunia spill does not affect the Poamoho section.

The EPA placed the Del Monte Site on the national Superfund list in December 1994.

Today's announcement begins a 30-day public comment period that runs through December 1, 2003. Written comments may be submitted to Janet Rosati at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (SFD-8-2), 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Comments may be faxed to Janet Rosati at 415-947-3526 or e-mailed to her at
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