County of Kaua‘i ‘troubled’ by lessee’s pollution on Waimea 400 land
WAIMEA — The County of Kaua‘i was unaware that a lessee on its Waimea 400 land was polluting state waters.
On Monday, the state Department of Health fined Maui Asphalt X-IV, LLC $107,500 for discharging pollutants into state waters without a permit or pollution-control methods.
Maui Asphalt operates on about four acres of the county’s 417-acre property on a lease term that currently expires at the end of this year.
“When the County of Kaua‘i purchased the 417-acre parcel known as Waimea 400 (in 2019), Maui Asphalt was an existing lessee of the property whose lease transferred over during the sales transaction,” county Department of Public Works Acting County Engineer Troy Tanigawa said Tuesday.
“Regardless, as the land owner, the county always expects our tenants to comply with the law and be good stewards of the land. We also expect our tenants to be good neighbors to the community,” he said.
Tanigawa said that the county was “extremely troubled that Maui Asphalt’s actions have run contrary to these expectations, and have called on them to take responsibility.”
County officials learned of the fine and activity when the DOH released its press release on Monday.
“We are expecting them to implement immediate changes to their operations and ensure compliance with all health requirements,” he said.
The DOH Clean Water Branch received complaints that the facility was polluting state water last year.
In April 2021, the DOH issued a notice of apparent violation and requested more information from the facility. In a response, a member of Maui Asphalt disclosed the facility did not have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit in place to discharge stormwater, according to exhibits provided in the Notice of Violation and Order (NOVO).
In August 2021, the DOH discovered aggregate, dirt, fuel and oil pollutants. The company did have berms and silt fences to prevent discharge but, according to the inspection report from the DOH, they “were generally incorrectly installed.”
Two drainage ditches border the west and east sides of the facility, and a third drainage ditch bisects the facility. The drainage ditches are part of the Mana Plain Canal System, and drain into the ocean.
The DOH said the facility discharged pollutants on 43 days from Sept. 2015 to March 2021. The group was charged about $2,500 per discharge.
Maui Asphalt has 20 calendar days after receipt of the notice to pay the fine or request a hearing.
Maui Asphalt did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Sabrina Bodon, editor, can be reached at 245-0441 or email@example.com.
This is very odd that the Owner of the Land- Kauai County is not aware of this situation until recently… what is going on?????