Lawmakers introduce legislation to address harbor spills

Molasses Spill - Cleanup

It’s been almost five months since 233,000 gallons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor. Now, proposed legislation aims to address the issue.

Rep. Chris Lee and Sen. Mike Gabbard introduced measures on Monday that would address emergency response, reporting, and oversight responsibilities for state agencies involved in marine spills.

This comes after last September’s Matson molasses spill revealed shortcomings in emergency operations.

“We felt it was time that there are concrete steps that we can take now to ensure that this never happens again, while we wait for investigations to conclude,” said Rep. Lee (D) Kailua.

“Updating our spill response plans, making sure that we are able to clean up the area efficiently and effectively. Making sure that there is going to be greater communication between departments in the years to come,” said Sen. Mike Gabbard (D) Kapolei, Makakilo.

The spill killed thousands of marine life.

Matson has taken full responsibility for the spill.

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