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EPA orders Hawaii County to fix sewage outfall in Hilo Bay

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Hawaii County to fix a sewage outfall pipeline east of the Hilo Bay breakwater.

The agency said the 4,500-foot-long pipeline from a wastewater treatment plant was leaking. The bedding for the pipeline was undercut, leaving it vulnerable to more damage.

“The work on the outfall pipe will help ensure protection of corals and other marine life in Hilo Bay” the agency said in a news statement Thursday.

“Coral reefs are sensitive to increased nutrients in the water that can come from wastewater outfalls.”

The agency said the county is required to complete its repairs within 90 days of receiving the permits from the state Department of Health and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The county filed an application for a permit with the state Department of Health about two weeks ago, according to the state.

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