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DoE Fined $1.1M for Illegal Dumping
By News Release @ 2:00 PM :: 5904 Views :: Education K-12, Environment

Department of Education and Contractors Fined $1.4 M for Solid Waste Violations during Radford High School Track Renovation

News Release from Hawaii Department of Health July 23, 2015

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has filed four Notices of Violation and Orders against the Department of Education (DOE), its onsite contractors, and certain receiving facilities for violating solid waste laws and regulations during the renovation of the Radford High School track in December 2013 and January 2014. The violations originated from the removal, transportation and disposal of soil contaminated with debris and concrete waste from the track and field construction site to a private residence in Kaneohe, a residential development under construction in Kapolei, and an unpermitted concrete recycling facility in Kailua. Based on analytical laboratory results provided by DOE and its consultant, the transported soil was contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic, barium, cadmium, lead, and mercury at amounts that exceeded DOH Environmental Action Levels posing a potential health risk to the public.

DOH imposed the following administrative penalties: 

  • $20,000 on the DOE, MEI Corporation (MEI), and Central Equipment for the disposal of two truckloads of contaminated soil and debris at a private residence. 
  • $1,122,000 on the DOE, MEI, ALU Transportation Services, Kua’ana Trucking, Inc., XTreme Trucking, Inc., Alliance Trucking, Hawaiian Western Transport, LCC, and Thunder Trucking, LCC, for disposal of 103 truckloads of contaminated soil at a residential development under construction in Kapolei, and for the disposal of 24 truckloads of concrete slabs at an unpermitted concrete recycling facility in Kailua. 
  • $292,000 on Royal Contracting Company, Ltd. for the operation of an open dump/unpermitted solid waste facility by accepting contaminated soil and a truckload of concrete waste without approval from DOH. 
  • $13,530 on Kapaa Quarry Recycling, Inc. for the operation of an unpermitted solid waste facility by accepting and processing concrete waste without approval from DOH.

All parties may request a hearing to contest the allegations or Order.

The contaminated soil transported to the Kaneohe and Kapolei locations has been removed and properly disposed of at a DOH-permitted solid waste landfill. In addition, contamination encountered at Radford High School has been addressed and construction of the track and field has resumed in a safe manner.

“Property owners, operators and contractors are responsible for the safe handling of construction waste generated by their projects,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health. “It is equally important for property owners and operators that accept soil for their property or projects to ensure that they receive only clean, uncontaminated soil that is free of waste.”

DOH’s Solid Waste Section regulates standards governing the design, construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of solid waste disposal, recycling, reclamation, and transfer systems. Such standards prevent pollution of the drinking water supply and waters of the state, prevent air pollution, prevent the spread of disease and the creation of nuisances, protect public health and safety, conserve natural resources, and preserve and enhance the beauty and quality of the environment.

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