Hokuli'a builder agrees to state fine
By Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Big Island Bureau
By Kevin Dayton
HILO, Hawai'i — The developer of the Hokuli'a luxury home project has agreed to pay a $200,000 fine for allowing muddy storm runoff from its Kona construction site to flow into the ocean in 2000.
The state Department of Health is now seeking public comment on the proposed settlement of violations stemming from runoff during storms on Sept. 9, 2000, and Nov. 3, 2000. The developer is not admitting to any liability in the settlement.
John De Fries, CEO of Hokuli'a, called the proposed settlement "fair and constructive."
De Fries said the company had state-approved erosion control measures in place when the heavy rains hit in 2000, but that those systems were overwhelmed.
Since then, the company has spent about $6 million to fortify those erosion control systems, and the systems now in place would be able to handle rains as heavy as the 2000 storms, De Fries said.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, $150,000 of the money from the fines would go to repair loading docks at the boat-launch ramps at Keauhou Boat Harbor, which De Fries said is the closest public marine recreational site to the Hokuli'a project.
The remaining $50,000 would be deposited into the state Environmental Response Revolving Fund.
An announcement of the proposed settlement by the state Department of Health said Hokuli'a also paid for expanded water monitoring programs, and "while there were effects in the receiving ocean waters in 2000, there appeared to be no lasting reef damage in the area."
In a written statement announcing the settlement plans, Deputy Director for Environmental Health Laurence Lau said the state's primary objective was to ensure there would be no repeat of the 2000 runoff.
Reach Kevin Dayton at firstname.lastname@example.org.