Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


Del Monte agrees to EPA's $13 million plan for Superfund cleanup in Hawaii

Release Date: 8/10/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

HONOLULU - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached an agreement with Del Monte Fresh Produce that requires the company to clean up soil and groundwater contamination at the Del Monte Superfund site in Central Oahu.

Under the terms of the consent decree, Del Monte Fresh Produce will carry out the EPA-approved cleanup plan, estimated to cost approximately $13 million with a completion date expected in 2014. The company has also agreed to pay the EPA's past and future oversight costs at the site.

"Our agreement with Del Monte Fresh Produce will result in the removal of the contamination from the soil and groundwater," said Keith Takata, director for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region's Superfund Division. "This is a critical step in getting the site removed from the Superfund's National Priorities List."

Cleanup of shallow groundwater at the site has started by using Koa Haole plants, in a process called phytoremediation. The deep groundwater in the area will be pumped and cleaned using air stripping and carbon filters. The cleanup will also restrict land use to prevent exposure to the contaminated groundwater and prevent activities that might interfere with the effectiveness of the cleanup.

On Aug. 4, the U.S. Department of Justice has lodged the decree with the U.S. District Court in Hawai'i. After public comment period of 30 days, the United States will make a motion to the court to enter the consent decree.
The EPA placed the Del Monte site on the national Superfund list in December 1994 because of concern about contamination to groundwater, a source of drinking water. Officials discovered contamination from sampling of the Kunia Well in 1980 and the EPA was informed of an accidental spill of ethylene dibromide in April 1977 within 60 feet of the well. The Kunia Well was immediately disconnected from the drinking water supply system when the contamination was discovered and is no longer being used. The site is part of a 3,000 acre pineapple plantation in Central Oahu that is leased and operated by Del Monte Fresh Produce.