BY RICK VOLNER JR. – The Department of Health has cited HC&S for burning a field in November 2011 that was not listed on the company’s agricultural burning permit. HC&S takes full responsibility for this violation, which it self-reported. A fine of $2,400 has been assessed, which HC&S will pay. HC&S takes compliance with its agricultural burning permit very seriously and has instituted safeguards to prevent a recurrence of this incident.
The field that is the subject of the violation, HC&S field 716, is located in Kahului and was not scheduled to be harvested until 2012, and thus not listed on HC&S 2011 agricultural burning permit.
However, as the result of a malicious fire that consumed 160 acres in this field and an adjoining field in September 2011, about half of field 716 was burned and was harvested immediately after the malicious fire. All of the surrounding fields were listed on the 2011 burn permit and were also harvested. These circumstances led to confusion about the remaining cane in field 716 and resulted in 25 acres of field 716 being burned when HC&S completed the harvest in November 2011, rather than in 2012.
Once the error was realized, further burning of field 716 was halted and the remainder of the field was harvested unburned. HC&S subsequently notified the Department of Health of the error.
Statement from Rick Volner JR., HC&S General Manager: