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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 23, 2003

Dump violations spelled out

By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Central O'ahu Writer

Illegal dump cleanup

Here is the status of each site:

At the incinerator: The city is removing bricks and ash, taking the non-hazardous material to the landfill and storing hazardous material for shipment to a Mainland landfill. High levels of cadmium have been found in soil.

Next to the incinerator: About 210 tons of crushed and buried appliances were removed in April at a cost of about $150,000.

At the landfill: The city is devising a plan to remove ash and soil considered hazardous because of high levels of cadmium. The waste is expected to be sent to a Mainland landfill

In the gully: The federal Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to evaluate the site for hazardous metals beginning in June. Preliminary data indicates low levels of heavy metals.

The city has begun removing bricks and ash deemed non-hazardous from various sites at the former Waipahu incinerator, continuing the extensive cleanup of illegal dumping discovered in a series of finds since mid-March.

The state has also recommended penalties against the city for six violations, said Steve Chang, chief of the state Health Department's Solid and Hazardous Waste Division.

The violations are: improper disposal of solid waste, operation of an open dump, failure to make a hazardous waste determination, storage of hazardous waste without a permit, disposal of hazardous waste without a permit and operation of an unpermitted solid waste management system.

City officials have said the incidents occurred without their knowledge, but they have agreed to take responsibility for the dumping.

The case has been referred to the state Health Department deputy director for environmental health. Officials have said penalties could top $1 million.

This week the state authorized the removal of non-hazardous material. The material will be sent to the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill.

The state has identified a total of four sites of illegal dumping: two at the incinerator site, one at the closed landfill across the street and one in a gully near the Waipi'o Soccer Complex. The state Health Department, city, state legislature and state attorney general's office began investigations after buried appliances were found in March.