Hu Honua Cited For Illegal Wastewater Discharge

(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health Clean Water Branch has issued a Notice of Violation and Order to Hū Honua Bioenergy, LLC for “an unauthorized discharge of industrial wastewater on Nov. 9, 2018, at their facility in Pepe‘ekeo on Hawai‘i Island,” health officials report.

The state says the Notice of Violation states that Hū Honua violated Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, HRS 342D-50(a) for discharging pollutants to a state water without a permit or other authorization.

“Our inspectors have confirmed a worker for Hū Honua Bioenergy opened a valve on its industrial wastewater treatment tank and allowed the contents of the tank to discharge from their facility into the environment,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of the Environmental Health Administration for DOH, in a media release issued Wednesday. “This is a serious violation as discharges without permit authorization are strictly prohibited to protect human and environmental health from exposure to pollutants, which can cause serious and sometimes irreparable harm.”

On November 30, the health department announced it was pursuing an environmental enforcement action against the Pepeʻekeo bioenergy company, calling the alleged discharge an act of “blatant disrespect of the environmental laws”. It was also reported that Hū Honua President Warren Lee took exception to the state’s characterization of the incident.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health says:

The DOH investigation determined the discharged wastewater was generated between Nov. 2-6, 2018, as part of Hū Honua Bioenergy’s commissioning of its boiler and had been stored in wastewater treatment tanks prior to the discharge. Between 3,500 and 32,500 gallons of treated industrial wastewater composed of freshwater, acidic metal cleaning solution and residue from the descaling of the boiler was discharged. While the dark green colored wastewater had been filtered and neutralized prior to discharge, it contained high levels of iron and is a regulated waste.

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