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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, December 14, 2001

State to study contaminated sites

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Science Writer

State and private agencies are using a $200,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant to study "brownfield" sites — lands that are environmentally contaminated or where development is hampered by the impression that they are contaminated.

The federal grant to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism calls on the state agency to identify potential brownfields in the Islands and to conduct environmental site assessments of them. The site assessments are to be conducted by the state Department of Health.

Among the sites under consideration are former canefields in Anahola and Kekaha on Kaua'i, which may have pesticide contamination. On O'ahu, they include a Kuhio Park Terrace site that may have residues of termite-treatment chemicals, as well as an office and industrial site in Iwilei that was formerly used by O'ahu Railway and Land Co. and may have petroleum contamination.

Gail Suzuki-Jones, of the state's Clean Hawai'i Center, said the program has a long list of potential sites, but is starting with its top three sites: Anahola, Kuhio Park Terrace and Iwilei.

Under the program, the state can form partnerships with community groups and can provide site assessments at no cost to certain public agencies and nonprofit community groups. The program can then develop cleanup and redevelopment plans for the sites.

The intent of the project is to help revitalize areas and to provide examples for how to restore the economic potential of brownfields.

Reach Jan TenBruggencate at 808-245-7825 or jtenbruggencate@honoluluadvertiser.com.