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Wastewater plant facing violation notice


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POSTED: Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Question: What is the latest information on the Aikahi Sewer Treatment Plant situated on Kaneohe Bay Drive? It is my understanding that there was to be mediation.

Answer: The plant you're referring to is the city's Kailua Wastewater Treatment Plant, which was issued a notice of violation by the state Department of Health's Clean Air Branch on Oct. 2, 2006.

We're told the plant at 95 Kaneohe Bay Drive is facing another notice of violation for similar violations relating to polluting the air with hydrogen sulfide, a gaseous compound formed by decomposing organic matter.

To put it more graphically, the plant was emitting the odor of rotten eggs.

The plant was fined $177,600 for exceeding the hydrogen sulfide emissions permit limit during the first half of 2006; for taking its two odor control systems out of service on June 6, 2006; and for failing to conduct daily checks to basically make sure its equipment was operating properly.

The city and the Clean Air Branch settled that case with a $177,600 penalty, which included a “;supplemental environmental project”; to install air conditioners in two portable buildings at Aikahi Elementary School, said Jill Stensrud, enforcement supervisor for the Clean Air Branch.

The consent order for that case was closed on Sept. 24, 2008, and no mediation was involved, she said.

However, the Clean Air Branch is concluding its investigation into similar, more recent, air permit violations, although they're not as bad or extensive as those in 2006.

Stensrud said no details could be given, but did say another notice of violation is expected to be issued within the next couple of months.

Q: I've been riding TheBoat for nearly a year now and I must say that the mayor has successfully convinced me to park my car at home and use it for commuting to work. I love it so much that I dread those days I have to drive. I have two questions for the boat. First, it seems like the trip is taking longer lately. Are they purposely going slower to save fuel? Also, have they given thought to crowd control? The 3:55 p.m. boat always has a big crowd and there have been a few times where choice words were exchanged over accusations of cutting in line. A few stanchions and a staff person to direct traffic and answer questions would alleviate any problems. A big mahalo to the city for providing this service. It's great!

A: At this point, city officials are focusing more on the bigger picture: whether TheBoat will continue to sail much longer.

Despite your enthusiastic support, the commuter ferry has been plowing through rough waters.

It has been plagued with breakdowns and what Mayor Mufi Hannemann called, in his State of the City address last month, “;ridership challenges”; and “;a culture that's far too dependent on motor vehicles.”;

Because of that, Wayne Yoshioka, director of the Department of Transportation Services, is assessing whether it is worth continuing the pilot ferry project. That assessment is supposed to be completed by the end of April.

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Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).