City agrees to pay $425,000 dumping fine
By Johnny Brannon
Advertiser Staff Writer
The city has agreed to pay a $425,000 fine and perform work worth $117,000 to settle a state Department of Health complaint about illegal dumping of appliances and construction debris near the city's deactivated Waipahu incinerator.
The state assessed the total penalty of $542,000 in 2003, but announced a final settlement yesterday that includes the lesser amount coupled with community service.
Meanwhile, a former city official is tentatively scheduled to stand trial next week in connection with the dumping.
Former refuse disposal facility superintendent Peter Kealoha Jr. was charged last year with 24 counts of dumping without a permit. He has plead not guilty. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $25,000 fine.
The illegally dumped or stored materials have been removed, and the next steps will be to demolish the incinerator and prepare the site for other uses, said DOH hazardous waste supervisor Grace Simmons.
The settlement requires the city to complete an unspecified "supplemental environmental project" over four years that benefits the public. The work could include using heavy equipment to excavate other properties where environmental problems are suspected, said Simmons.
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