Sludge dumping riles Waianae community

Waianae dumping

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It started with a spill on the H-1 Freeway on Aug. 31 that has now boiled over into a community wide concern on the Waianae coast.

“I’d like to thank the truck driver for creating the spill, otherwise we would not have known. It would have gone undetected,” Waianae Neighborhood Board Chair Johnnie-Mae Perry said.

Sludge being dredged from the Hawaii Kai Marina was supposed to go to islands within the marina. Instead, it was hauled away by SER Trucking and dumped on their property in Waianae, but they didn’t have a permit to do that.

The Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association says, “We wouldn’t put anything in our own marina that would pose a health or safety threat.” They also said, “There is nothing that would be harmful in the silt.”

Others don’t see it that way.

“I’m disturbed this has been promoted as safe for our community because it is not,” Honolulu City Councilmember Kymberly Pine said. “Anything with high saltwater content would be toxic to inland vegetation.”

The Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association says it hired American Marine Corporation to do the dredging work and it was their responsibility to dispose of the sludge legally.

AMC issued the statement saying, “It obtained all necessary documentation to satisfy the transportation and placement of the dredged material.”

AMC also says it was SER Trucking’s duty to perform the permitting, hauling, and dumping.

KHON2 called SER Trucking, but no one answered and we were not allowed to leave a message.

“Ashamed they just throw stuff at us like that this is not right,” Waianae Coast resident Polly Grace said.

The city issued SER Trucking a notice of violation for not having a grading permit.

They have until Oct. 7 to correct it or face fines of $150 a day.

So far, the city says no work has been done to remove the sludge from Waianae.

“They should be fined from the time they first dumped there, not because they got found out,” Waianae Coast resident Alice Greenwood said.

“We need to hold their feet to the fire, that means it’s gotta get done. Enough is enough already,” Waianae Coast resident John Desoto said.

The Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association has stopped all dredging until this situation is cleared up.

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