2 arrested for alleged illegal Nanakuli dump
Federal investigators arrested two men early yesterday morning after searching a Nanakuli home allegedly used as a burial ground for waste oil, vehicle tires, car batteries, and corrosive and toxic materials.
Carrying a federal warrant, special agents from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's criminal investigation division conducted the search at a 10-acre property on Hakimo Road in Nanakuli shortly after 6 a.m. yesterday.
U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo said: "It is alleged that companies would pay money to the lessee of the property to allow them to dump their waste into holes on the property."
Investigators were looking for 55-gallon drums containing chemical substances, as well as the automotive waste "believed to be buried at various sites on the property," Kubo said.
Weapons were also found on the property, and the two men face possible federal firearms charges, which carries a term of up to 10 years in prison.
"For some time now, investigators have been hearing of the illegal dumping of waste and other ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic materials into the Waianae area," Kubo said.
The EPA is conducting a statewide operation to seek and investigate illegal dumping of hazardous waste in Hawaii, Kubo said.
These hazardous materials potentially can harm families living nearby and could seep into the drinking water, he said.
Ron Johnson, the U.S. attorney's major crimes section chief, said that if anyone is found in violation of the federal hazardous-waste laws, they face up to five years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
Also participating in the investigation are the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Investigative Service, and the state Department of Health.