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EPA orders city to fix Waimanalo Gulch landfill problems

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:39 p.m. HST, Nov 30, 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is ordering the city and a contractor to take immediate steps to address storm water violations at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill stemming from wastewater overflow and beach contamination last winter. 

"The City and County of Honolulu and Waste Management must quickly complete work on storm water protections at the landfill," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's regional administrator. "We will be closely monitoring the work so runoff from future storms is properly controlled and residents' health and Oahu's coastal waters are protected."

An ongoing review of landfill operations revealed violations of the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit regulating storm water discharges from the landfill, the EPA said.

The EPA found the city and Waste Management, the contractor operating the landfill, failed to comply with the state's stormwater permit on at least three occasions in connection with wastewater spills and beach contamination in December 2010 and January 2011 caused by heavy rains.

According to a news release, the city and Waste Management failed to:

>> prevent runoff of surface water that had come into contact with waste

>> control erosion to prevent loss of landfill cover or washout of refuse slopes

>> properly manage leachate and 

>> retain and remove silt from surface water before it was discharged from the site.

The EPA ordered the city and Waste Management to complete work to separate storm water generated outside of the landfill from storm water generated at the landfill; submit a study to EPA to evaluate the adequacy of the landfill's storm water detention basin pond and an enhanced stormwater monitoring plan, and submit monthly reports. 

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h20dragon wrote:
Okay, now that EPA has weighed in on the fiasco in December 2010 and January 2011, what is the State DOH going to do? They are the ones who were charged by EPA to manage and permit the landfills throughout the State. Are they just going to sit idly by and do nothing?
on November 30,2011 | 12:08PM
Changalang wrote:
Looks like fees will be going up again for Environmental services from the C&C to address the next EPA smack down. Our sewer fees are too low anyway; except in Hawaii Kai,where they are exempt. The cost to fix will be bad enough for Honolulu. Can you imagine what they will pass onto US if they actually have to move the Landfill completely. Save your pennies, Oahu.
on November 30,2011 | 01:29PM
Anonymous wrote:
These are the same geniuses that are going to make a $5.4 Billion rail system come in on time and on budget. How many millions will have to be spent to straighten out the waimanalo gulch landfill that was improperly managed by the city? How many billions will have to be spent to fix the sewer system. How much can the citizens of honolulu spend?
on November 30,2011 | 01:35PM
Anonymous wrote:
on November 30,2011 | 05:19PM
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