The Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Section has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Kapunakea Partners, the registered owner and operator of West Maui Shell located in Lahaina.
Kapunakea Partners has been assessed an $85,750 penalty for the following alleged UST violations: failure to provide adequate spill prevention equipment; failure to maintain release detection records for the tanks and piping; and failure to conduct maintenance and /or testing of operability of all release detection equipment. These violations were discovered during a routine inspection conducted on May 11, 2010. Kapunakea Partners has 20 days in which they may contest the Notice of Violation and Order and request a hearing.
Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Chapter 11-281, requires UST owners and/or operators to maintain adequate spill prevention equipment. Records of release detection monitoring for both tanks and piping must be maintained on site. The regulations also require that an annual maintenance of the release detection equipment and/or testing of operability be performed at least every 12 months. The routine maintenance and testing of release prevention and detection equipment is essential to avoiding an accidental, but possibly catastrophic, release of petroleum product, such as gasoline or diesel, into the environment. The DOH regulates underground storage tanks which store petroleum or hazardous substances by conducting operational compliance inspections from the time the tank is installed. Inspections determine if a tank is being maintained properly to prevent damage to the environment.
The Hawaii Legislature may consider legislation next session that would cap renewable energy tax credits, which have helped homeowners install solar hot water and photovoltaic systems and grow the state’s solar industry.
Honolulu Civil Beat reports that state auditors are also looking into whether state tax credits for solar energy are being abused by homeowners who claim multiple refunds by stretching single solar systems into multiple systems. The news site says the refunds will be up for discussion next session as lawmakers examine the state’s budget.
Maui Polive say a motor vehicle accident closed a portion of Lower Pi’ilani Hihway yesterday. Around 4:30 p.m. the street was closee between Akahele and South Turn Park. The road was reopened by 5 p.m.
No word yet on the extent of injuries – if any- or the cause of the accident.
Honolulu – The Hawai’i Tourism Authority yesterday announced increased visitor spending by 19.7 percent as compared to the same time last year pumping $1 billion to our local economy. Governor Neil Abercrombie released the following statement:
“This recent visitor report is a reminder of the value that Hawai’i has as a tourist destination. As our visitor numbers increase, we will begin to see a ripple effect in economic growth across the state. I’m confident that APEC will add to this momentum because it will be our moment to showcase to the world our aloha spirit and the beauty of our island people.
“Tourism is an important aspect to our economy, but we must never be solely dependent on it. As we continue to invest in each other, in education, energy and agriculture, we will continue to build a stronger economy while staying true to our values.”
WAILUKU >> A lawsuit claims a Halloween celebration on Maui violates Native Hawaiian rights.
A Native Hawaiian group filed the suit Friday in 2nd Circuit Court.
The Maui News reports the suit seeks a restraining order and claims Mayor Alan Arakawa improperly circumvented the county Cultural Resources Commission to move the event forward.
According to the complaint, the annual Lahaina Halloween party known as the “Mardi Gras of the Pacific” has in the past involved nudity, drinking and other offensive behavior. The complaint says participants urinated on a sacred Hawaiian site.
The Cultural Resources Commission had denied event permits for the past four years. This year the county removed any elements of the event that would be under the commission’s purview.
County spokesman Rod Antone says the complaint is under review.
Up to 20 million tons of tsunami debris floating from Japan could arrive on Hawaii’s shores by early 2013, before reaching the West Coast.
A Russian training ship spotted the debris in an area of the Pacific Ocean where scientists at the University of Hawaii predicted it would be. The massive amount of rubble includes a refrigerator, TV set and other appliances.
Scientist Jan Hafner told The Associated Press Tuesday the debris would reach the coasts of Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Canada around 2014.
Hafner has been assisting oceanographer Nikolai Maximenko study surface ocean currents since 2009. When the March 11 earthquake and tsunami struck, they applied their research to the debris washed into the Pacific.
Until the ship’s sighting, the duo didn’t have direct observation of the debris field.
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