Recycling company fined $9,100 for water pollution
The state Department of Health has fined a Pearl City auto-recycling company $9,100 for allegedly discharging pollutants into Waiawa Stream -- its second environmental violation in five months.
The Clean Water Branch issued ABC Used Auto Parts LLC a notice of violation and order yesterday for violating provisions of the Hawaii Water Quality Standards and the federal Clean Water Act.
The company was cited for discharging car parts into the stream, as well as conducting auto salvaging operations without a required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
Such a permit is required "to ensure that discharges from the facility does not adversely affect the receiving waters," state health officials said, noting that the company has been operating without the permit since September 2002.
The violation was observed during an unannounced inspection on Dec. 8, environmental health specialist Matthew Kurano said.
Officials said the auto recycler is not authorized to discharge pollutants, including potentially contaminated storm water to state waters.
A few months earlier, the company was fined $24,240 for a solid-waste violation. About 1,000 vehicles containing potentially hazardous fluids were observed on March 29 stacked on an unprotected surface at the Pearl City site.
The company has a solid-waste management permit that requires it to drain fluids from vehicles before stacking them. It has requested a hearing with the Department of Health to contest the solid-waste violation. The hearing has yet to be scheduled, Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.
Based on an inspection report, officials said, "On the west stream bank, vehicle debris was observed within the high-water mark of Waiawa Stream." Inspectors also observed that mud puddles, which resulted from heavy rain, appeared to be contaminated with oil and possibly other automobile-related fluids.
ABC Used Auto Parts has 20 days to contest the water act violation notice. Sun Jae Yu, former owner of ABC Used Auto Parts, said her parents, Yong Hon and Young Ja Yu, the current owners of the company, have yet to receive the violation notice.