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EPA settles with Hawai’i Department of Transportation for oil spill prevention violations

Release Date: 5/19/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a consent agreement with the Hawai’i Department of Transportation for $157,500 in fines for oil spill prevention plan violations at four of its facilities.

The facilities covered by the consent agreement are the department’s facilities at Honolulu International Airport, Kahului Airport and Maui Baseyard on Maui, and Lihue Airport on Kauai. The department has since prepared and submitted plans to the EPA for each of the facilities.

“The Department of Transportation needs to fully implement oil spill prevention plans, drainage controls and secondary containment for fuel storage at all of its facilities,” said Keith Takata, director of the EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Superfund Division. “This settlement will help ensure that these actions are taken.”

The EPA found that the facilities failed to have:

* spill prevention, control and countermeasure plans certified by a professional engineer;

* adequate drainage controls to prevent discharges in the event of a spill during fuel transfers between tanks and tanker trucks, and tanker trucks and aircraft;

* drainage controls for undiked areas where oil operations are occurring; and

* adequate containment for small tanks and portable fuel truck parking areas.

The consent agreement will be available for public comment for 30 days and the department will then have 30 days to pay the fines once the agreement is final.

Oil spills and other contamination from onshore sources can pollute and harm coral reefs and marine life. Federal regulations require onshore oil storage facilities to develop spill prevention, control and countermeasure plans and have them certified by a professional engineer, and to have spill prevention measures in place to prevent oil from being discharged into the ocean.

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