HC&S reaches $600K settlement with state over air quality violations

HC&S (Photo: Alexander & Baldwin)

The Hawaii State Department of Health Clean Air Branch has reached a $600,000 settlement with Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S).

Officials documented more than 400 violations that occurred from 2009 to 2014 in Puunene, Maui.

Violations included issues such as boiler operations and delayed notifications, and were documented through the Department of Health’s extensive records reviews of semi-annual reports, deviation letters and additional information submitted by HC&S.

“With the impending end of the last sugarcane commercial operations in Hawaii, the department is working to bring closure to a number of complex and long-standing regulatory issues that have involved extended legal negotiations with HC&S,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health. “The Consent Order represents the diligent work of our staff to resolve pending emission and reporting violations as HC&S conducts its final year of sugar cane production on Maui.”

The terms of the Consent Order with HC&S include a $300,000 monetary penalty and a $300,000 two-phase Supplemental Environmental Project.

The first phase of the project involves the installation of three air monitoring stations at various schools throughout Maui Island to monitor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) for the remainder of the 2016 sugar cane burning season. The second phase provides monetary support to aid in the further development and implementation of the University of Hawaii’s Vog Measurement and Prediction Project (VMAP).

The Consent Order also requires HC&S to pay stipulated penalties for each emission and reporting violation that occurs from Jan. 1, 2015 until the Consent Order is terminated.

In addition to this most recent Consent Order, the Department of Health Clean Air Branch issued the following enforcement actions:

Copies of the Consent Order and other notices are available online here.

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