DLNR BOATING DIVISION FINED $600,000 FOR WASTEWATER VIOLATIONS…SORT OF
News Release from DLNR, May 2, 2023
(HONOLULU) – The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) has authorized Chairperson Dawn Chang to sign a settlement agreement between the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), and the Wastewater Branch of the Hawai‘i Dept. of Health (DOH).
In June 2021, DOH issued the boating division a Notice of Violation and Order (NOVO) for failure to produce effluent within state limits, from its wastewater treatment system at He‘eia Kea Small Boat Harbor, on O‘ahu.
Before the violation notice, DOBOR worked closely with DOH and had completed design and permitting for construction of a wastewater treatment plant to replace an original one built in 1991. DOBOR received $1,000,000 in capital improvement funds to build a new plant and began construction of an absorption bed disposal system. It then submitted multiple requests to the legislature for CIP funding to complete construction of the plant, and in November 2022 received $3,000,000. Construction of a new plant is anticipated to begin in August, with completion by next February.
Under the Draft Settlement Agreement, approved by the BLNR last Friday, DOH agreed to permit DLNR/DOBOR to propose one or more environmentally beneficial projects to undertake, in lieu of paying a monetary penalty of $600,000.
(TRANSLATION: After eight years of inaction, DoH forced DOBOR's hand by grabbing control of their budget.)
That project, already proposed, and tentatively accepted by DOH, is the replacement of the existing wastewater treatment system, next to and serving the makai comfort station and harbor office at Hale‘iwa Small Boat Harbor, on O‘ahu’s north shore. Once approved and permitted that project is expected to begin in August 2024, with completion in December 2024. That project is expected to cost $800,000, meaning DLNR will not have to pay the $600,000 penalty.
QUESTION: Why request $3M CIP for an $800K project?
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DOBOR Hit with $600K fine for pollution
HNN April 28, 2023
… The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, a state agency tasked with protecting Hawaii’s natural resources, faces a $600,000 fine for pollution at the Heeia Kea Small Boat Harbor.
Between 2015 and 2020, the state Health Department said there were 62 instances where wastewater from the harbor exceeded limits for measures of bacteria levels.
The violations were partly due to the the harbor’s 32-year-old wastewater treatment system, which the DLNR and its Boating and Recreation Division has been trying to replace for years….
The state Land Board will vote on the deal on Friday.
As part of the proposed settlement, the state also will be required to install a new wastewater treatment plant, which will likely cost several million dollars.
In 2018, the DLNR received $1 million to build a new plant but the bids submitted exceeded that amount. Last year, state lawmakers gave the department $3 million for a new plant. The procurement process is now underway….
read … ‘Flabbergasted’: State agency charged with protecting Hawaii’s resources faces hefty fine for pollution
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