HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health and Honolulu have agreed on a $1.2 million settlement in one of Hawaii's most controversial water pollution cases.
The department fined the city for Clean Water Act violations involving the alleged dumping of 257 truckloads of concrete waste in Mailiili Stream in Waianae in 2008 and 2009. The city was ordered to pay a $1.7 million penalty, which a department hearings office upheld. The city appealed in court.
Under the settlement announced Wednesday, the city will pay $1.2 million to support water quality improvements on the Waianae Coast and spend $200,000 to install storm water control projects to improve water quality in the area, the Department of Health said. The public has until May 14 to comment on the proposed settlement.
In 2009, a city spokesman said city workers placed concrete rubble from sidewalk repairs in the stream area to restore an access road along the bank and that workers were unaware a permit might have been needed.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Honolulu to remove the illegal fill and restore the stream's bed and banks. The EPA said inspectors confirmed concrete rubble, metal debris, used asphalt and dirt were placed in the stream.
"The Department of Facility Maintenance has improved its procedures to prevent this type of incident from happening again, and this settlement will allow the city to focus its resources on projects that mutually benefit the city and state, instead of continued litigation," Director Westley Chun said in a statement Wednesday.