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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 25, 2010

HECO cited for hazardous waste violations at Waiau power plant

Advertiser Staff

Hawaiian Electric Company has been cited by the state Department of Health for alleged violations of hazardous waste rules at the utility's Waiau facility.

HECO faces a total penalty of $53,500.

HECO has been cited for three counts of failure to make a hazardous waster determination and one count of storing hazardous waste without a permit.

The DOH says an inspection of the facility in 200 showed HECO had disposed of paint thinner, solvents and used oil on several occasions without making a hazardous waste determination. HECO also allegedly stored open containers of hazardous waste in four satellite accumulation areas.

The DOH says HECO can request a hearing to contest the facts and penalty order.

"Hawaiian Electric Company takes very seriously our environmental compliance responsibilities, and we have a very strong track record in this area," said HECO spokesman Darren Pai. "We plan to request a hearing with the Department of Health, which is a step in the process for both parties to address the issues raised in the Notice of Violation. We plan to present information to support our position that we were and remain in compliance with the environmental regulations. The notice stems from a DOH hazardous waste and used oil compliance inspection conducted at our Waiau power plant in September 2008. Hawaiian Electric believes that we met and continue to meet the compliance regulations. While we are disappointed in the notice, we appreciate the opportunity of a hearing to present our case, and will work with DOH to resolve the issue."