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Endangered species unhurt in Hawaii molasses spill

By Oskar Garcia

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:44 p.m. HST, Sep 18, 2013

A Hawaii state official in charge of cleaning up the spill of 1,400 tons of molasses in Honolulu Harbor says no endangered species have been hurt in the accident.

Dr. Keith Kawaoka of the Hawaii Department of Health said today that no endangered species have been identified among the more than 26,000 dead fish, shellfish and other marine life that have been collected from nearby waters.

Water samples tested from different points in the harbor and a nearby lagoon have shown improved oxygen levels, while the water also looks visually better from flyover surveys, said Kawaoka, chief of the department's Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office.

"We will see this thing through until we see a final resolution," Kawaoka said.

State and federal agencies have been responding since the spill of about 233,000 gallons was discovered last week. Matson Navigation Co. is responsible, and has pledged to pay all costs to clean up.

Matson's CEO Matt Cox said Monday that the transportation company is investigating the spill, and will pay for the cleanup without passing on the costs to taxpayers or its customers.

The spill was discovered Sept. 9 in Honolulu Harbor in an industrial area west of downtown, where Matson loads molasses and other goods for shipping, about 5 miles west of Waikiki.

The molasses spilled from a leaky pipe as the sugary substance was moved from storage tanks to a ship sailing to California.

Kawaoka spoke today on a conference call organized by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, with several federal agencies updating their involvement in the cleanup.

Kawaoka said the greatest concentration of discolored water is near a Honolulu Airport runway made of coral and in ocean waters near a boathouse in a nearby lagoon.

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Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
That's good, but I still feel for the coral, so much and all unable to escape. And of course the fish. Hopefully there can be some kind of rehabilitation of the reef/marine ecosystem there, helping replenish and restock all the marine life.
on September 18,2013 | 03:20PM
poidragon wrote:
Just because you don't see any 'endangered fish species' found in the fish kill zones in Honolulu Harbor or the Sand Island environment does not mean that they might not have been harmed! State experts are making assumptions based on faulty information, as 'endangered hish species' might not have been harmed by the Molasses spill, but the kill off of the different variety of fish species will have a long term debilitating effect on the food chain that includes 'endangered fish species!'
on September 18,2013 | 05:17PM
hawaiifisherman wrote:
Actually, this is because there are no endangered fish species in Hawaii.
on September 18,2013 | 11:26PM
Jackrocks wrote:
"Matson will pay all costs for the cleanup without passing on the costs to taxpayers and customers." Very nice of Matson, only no cleanup of the spill is going on. Everyone so far has said the only thing to do is let the molasses dissipate naturally. The only cleanup going on is to pick up the dead marine life. The company has said nothing about not passing on the costs of any claims of damages, federal and or state fines, and possible coral replenishment.
on September 18,2013 | 07:39PM
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