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Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Ameron not yet
fined for runoff

By Pat Gee

The state Department of Health has not yet levied a fine against Ameron-Hawaii for failing to contain rainfall from escaping its new quarry in Kailua as it had planned to by the end of last year.

Denis Lau, chief of the Health Department's Clean Water Branch, said lawyers are in the process of deciding the amount of the fine and terms of the penalty. He said he did not know when the fine against Ameron would be levied, although it "could be this month."

Lau last month told the Star-Bulletin the fine would be imposed by the end of the year 2000, but the process is taking longer than he expected.

The Health Department decided to take action in response to a strongly worded complaint in November from the Kailua Neighborhood Board, which is concerned that runoff from a rainstorm could cause landslides and damage Kapaa Stream, the access road to Kapaa Quarry, Kawainui Marsh and outlying areas.

Ameron began working on the second phase of its quarry operation south of the H-3 freeway six months ago, and all of the construction has been focused on getting containment ponds and other systems into place to control rainfall runoff, according to George N. West, operations manager for Ameron.

But the heavy rainfall in August and October took place before the systems were completed, West said.

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