Hawaii Department of Health Cites Companies for Air Permit Violations

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REPORT FROM THE HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH — The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Air Branch has issued notices of violations and orders against five companies located on Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui and O‘ahu for air permit violations.  The violations were either self-reported, or discovered during an inspection.

The following companies were cited:


1.  Tesoro Hawai‘i Corporation (Tesoro) for various opacity violations on the vacuum unit charge heater, package boiler, and crude heater No. 1 and 2.  Tesoro is a crude oil distillation facility with a capacity of 95,000 barrel per day and is located in Campbell Industrial Park, O‘ahu.  The violation was self-reported and a penalty of $26,700 has been assessed. Currently, negotiations are being conducted regarding a consent order.

2.  Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. Waiau unit 8 for an opacity exceedence on September 1, 2011.  The six-minute opacity average was 68 percent during an unscheduled equipment shut down, which exceeded the opacity permit limit of 60 percent. The Waiau generating station is located in Pearl City, O‘ahu.  The violation was self-reported and a penalty of $6,000 has been assessed.  Currently, negotiations are being conducted regarding a consent order.

3.  O. Thronas, Inc., dba Kaua‘i Aggregates for failing to conduct the 2010 annual performance tests for opacity on the 700 ton per hour stone quarrying and processing plant located at Halewili Road, Wahiawa, Kaua‘i.  The violation was discovered during an annual inspection, and a penalty of $5,100 has been paid for the violation.

4.  Kohala Coast Concrete and Precast, LLC. for various permit violations on the 170 cubic yards per hour concrete batch plant located at Kawaihae, Hawai‘i.  The violation was discovered during a complaint investigation and a penalty of $5,300 has been assessed.

5.  Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) for burning approximately 25 acres of Field 716 on November 4, 2011 without prior DOH written approval.  HC&S operates a sugar refinery located at Puunene, Maui and has an agricultural burning permit (AGP) with the DOH.  Field 76 was not a field allowed to be burned on the AGP and the violation was self-reported.  A penalty of $2,400 has been assessed for the violation.

The DOH Clean Air Branch (CAB) protects the people and environment of Hawai‘i by monitoring air quality and regulating businesses that release pollutants into the air.  The CAB reviews and approves air permits, evaluates and enforces state and federal air standards, conducts inspections, and investigates reported incidents related to outdoor air quality.  Through the air permit process, the DOH ensures companies comply with state and federal emission standards to minimize air pollution impacts on the public.

In general, penalties are assessed on violators to remove any economic benefit they may have gained from their noncompliance and put them in a worse situation than those who comply with the law. All fines are paid into a revolving special fund used to prevent or minimize damage to the environment.  Parties have the right to request a hearing to contest DOH orders.