Hawaii DOT to pay over $1 million for stormwater violations

dotlogoThe Hawaii Department of Transportation will pay a $1.2 million penalty for federal Clean Water Act stormwater violations at the Honolulu and Kalaeloa harbors on Oahu. This comes after an inspection in 2008 found trash and chemicals on HDOT land could enter the water through runoff.

The $1.2 million in penalties will be divided equally between the State of Hawaii and the United States. In addition to the penalties, HDOT is required to take the following steps toward improving the management of stormwater runoff at the two harbors, including:

  • Create a new Office of Environmental Compliance to ensure all HDOT facilities comply with federal, state and local environmental regulations. Develop a stormwater prevention outreach and training program to communicate with the public using harbor facilities, to inform the public about how their activities impact the quality of stormwater runoff.
  • Rank all harbor tenants annually based on their activities and risk of pollutant discharges. Inspect all high risk tenants twice per year, medium risk tenants once per year, and low risk tenants every five years.
  • Inspect stormwater outfalls during wet and dry weather for the presence of non-stormwater discharges, and assess the physical condition of each outfall to determine if maintenance is needed.
  • Establish a comprehensive Construction Runoff Control Program to control discharges from sites subject to new development or redevelopment. HDOT will study the feasibility of retrofitting construction projects, and complete at least three retrofits.

“The Hawaii DOT has already made major strides in improving storm water run-off management plans in its Highways and Airports Divisions,” said HDOT interim director Ford Fuchigami. “The creation of the environmental compliance office will ensure that HDOT has staff strictly focused on environmental issues across all divisions.”