EPA personnel to arrive in Oahu to aid Honolulu Harbor response

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it is sending two on-scene coordinators to Oahu to assist the state in its response to the spill of an estimated 223,000 gallons of molasses on Sunday.

EPA personnel have expertise in spill response and plan to meet with state officials and other federal agencies involved with addressing the spill shortly after their arrival.

According to the EPA, molasses spills can be technically challenging to contain and clean up.

Approaches used on oil spills, such as floating booms and skimming to contain the liquid, are ineffective.

Pending an on-site assessment, the EPA may recommend a technique known as “air curtains” to protect particularly sensitive affected areas.

This technique uses long tubes to oxygenate water and help disperse and break down contaminants.

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