HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Health Clean Air Branch has finalized a Consent Order with Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) for excess emission and reporting violations that occurred from 2009 to 2014 in Puunene, Maui. More than 400 violations, including issues such as boiler operations and delayed notifications, 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 continues to provide regulatory oversight of HC&S’s sugarcane burning operations on Maui and has since issued the following enforcement actions:
A copy of the Consent Order and other notices is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/cab/clean-air-branch/notice-and-finding-of-violation-downloads-pdf/.
Through the air permit process, the Department of Health Clean Air Branch ensures companies comply with state and federal emission standards to minimize air pollution impacts on the public. The Clean Air Branch protects the people and environment of Hawaii by monitoring air quality and regulating businesses that release pollutants into the air. The Branch reviews and approves air permits, evaluates and enforces state and federal air standards, conducts inspections, and investigates reported incidents related to outdoor air quality.
By Jeff King
Somewhere “very, very…very hot” must have frozen over. After what seems an eternity, one of the most bone-jarring road experiences known to mortal man will soon begin to become a fading memory.
Hansen Road in Central Maui is almost finished. And to prove to skeptics and scoffers who were convinced they’d see the Pearly Gates before they’d see a smooth Hansen Road, Maui County is inviting up-close inspections prior to actually letting cars and trucks traverse the windy, narrow, (now-formerly) pock-marked span.
The County of Maui Department of Public Works invites the public to take a bike ride or run along Hansen Road prior to its reopening to motor vehicle traffic on November 7. Hansen Road has been closed since the reconstruction project began in March of this year to improve the road as well as add a bike lane on both sides of the road.
Participants are asked to arrive at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7 and meet next to the HC&S administrative offices along Hansen Road; the ride will begin at 9 a.m. after a bike safety briefing by members of the Maui Police Department’s Kihei Bicycle Patrol. The event will conclude at 10:45 a.m. in order to prepare the road to be officially reopened to traffic later that afternoon.
Some parking will be available at the HC&S administrative offices parking lot, and at the Kahului Target parking lot, provided vehicles are parked in the spaces farthest from the store. Participants parking at the Target parking lot can use the bike path on Mokulele Highway to get to Hansen Road.
Bicyclists will ride from Puunene Avenue to Hana Highway and back; riders under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no cost to participate; however, all riders are required to wear a helmet.
Runners are also invited to participate, and are asked to keep in mind that the distance on Hansen Road between Puunene Avenue and Hana Highway is two miles each way. Riders/runners need to be off the road by 10:45 a.m.
Children and adults are welcome to wear a post-Halloween costume during the event, as long as the costume does not interfere with vision, the wearing of bicycle helmets or bicycle operation.
“This will be a great way to see the improvements on Hansen Road, our new bridge at Kalialinui Gulch, and the views of the mill and the Central Valley on your bike or in your running shoes – with no cars!” said Public Works Director David Goode. “I look forward to seeing many folks out there.”
For more information on the reopening of Hansen Road or the Ride/Run event, please call the Department of Public Works at 270-7845.
And just think…someday you can tell your grandkeiki that you survived Hansen Road “way back in the olden days.”
Kahului firefighters arrived at 1:27 a.m. and found a small fire within the tractor repair building along the old Puunene Ave. They managed to bring the fire under control at 1:34 and called it extinguished at 1:50 a.m. The fire was reported by HC&S employees in another building nearby.
The fire burned wooden storage lockers within the repair shop and caused an estimated $1000 in damages to structure and $1000 to contents. Cause of the fire was undetermined. No injuries were reported.
Crews from Kahului, Wailuku, and a battalion chief responded to the incident.
Monday morning this week, shortly before 8 a.m., Officer Chad Romero and Officer Eric Grundy investigated the theft of a John Deere backhoe valued at $57,000.00 from Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company property. The machine was stolen from a cane field near the Paia Mill and was equipped with a GPS tracking device.
At about 2 p.m. officers located the stolen backhoe on Puniawa Road in Haiku. Devin Fulcher, 28, of Haiku, was washing the machine when officers arrived and was arrested for Unauthorized Control of Propelled Vehicle. Fulcher was arrested and charged in the crime and was released on $1000.00 bail.
“Unscheduled” and suspicious. at 2:40 a.m. today, Pa’ia and Kahului firefighters were called to a fire along Baldwin Avenue in Pa’ia. When they arrived they discovered not one but two brushfires burning about 200 yards apart.
Paia firefighters arrived at 2:47 a.m. and found two separate fires burning within the sugar cane field, just mauka of Paia Gym, on the Kahului side of Baldwin Ave. By 2:57 a.m. Paia firefighters and a Kahului water tanker had the fire under control. About 200 yards separated the two fires, with each one burning around 2,000 square feet.
Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar was called since no notice of cane burning for this area was received.
Cause of the fire was undetermined. There were no structures threatened and no injuries.
HONOLULU – State Representative Kaniela Ing (D-South Maui) responded to a lawsuit that the group “Stop Cane Burning” filed last Thursday against the state Department of Health (DOH) seeking an injunction to prevent cane burning by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. (HC&S) on Maui.
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