This dirt road off Oneula Beach Park is often used by beachgoers as a shortcut to reach the Ewa Beach shoreline. The isolated area also has been used as an illegal dumping ground. In the foreground is some of the trash found dumped along the road Jan. 6.

Toxic dumping
plagues Ewa firm

Haseko Homes plans a roadblock
leading to its shoreline acreage

By Rosemarie Bernardo

Last weekend, about 45 large plastic bags filled with building materials containing cancer-causing asbestos were dumped along a dirt road that leads to the Ewa Beach shoreline.

In August 2000, a 55-gallon metal drum of tar, paint cans and acetone was dumped on the Haseko Homes Inc. property, running up a huge cleanup bill.

Hazardous material is the latest headache in the 10 years of illegal dumping in the area -- from tires and abandoned vehicles to sinks, old mattresses and construction material.

The area, isolated and surrounded by kiawe trees off Oneula Beach Park, has been used by fishermen and surfers as a shortcut to get to the shore.

Haseko Homes plans to block access to vehicles on the dirt road, which leads to an area known as Hau Bush, once a review of the land is completed.

"It's getting worse and worse," said Vicki Gaynor, vice president of Haseko Homes, of the dumping.


Some Leeward Oahu residents are dissatisfied with Haseko Homes' decision because the dirt road is easier to drive on than the shoreline road made of sand. Gaynor said beachgoers will still be able to access the shoreline road through Oneula Beach Park.

The company plans to install a gate at one end of the road and put boulders at the other end to block vehicles from entering the dirt road from the shoreline road. The road closure is expected to occur at the end of this month, Gaynor said.

"I know it's their property. ... It just makes it harder and harder," said Jeff Alexander, chairman of the Ewa Neighborhood Board.

Gaynor countered that the "area has been identified as an easy place to get rid of stuff."

"It's always been a spot where people illegally dump," she said.

Haseko Homes has footed the bill for hazardous material that has been dumped along the dirt road. The company is waiting for the bill from Global Environmental Services Group for the asbestos material cleanup and paid $18,000 for the August 2000 cleanup and disposal of paint and acetone.

"We're not willing to spend that kind of money to clean up after people," Gaynor said.

Fencing that was installed around a wetland on the property was also stolen. It will cost the company $30,000 to replace the fencing, she said.

Recently, Haseko Homes officials met with Alexander to set up a community patrol watch to help target those illegally dumping along the shoreline and to assist in regular cleanups at the site. Cleanups have been conducted about once a month by the Oneula Surf Club and Ewa Beach Ohana, Alexander said.

Gaynor hopes the shoreline doesn't become the next dumping site once the dirt road closes. But the problem already exists: Items such as a wooden door and empty beer bottles were left along the shoreline.

"It looks disgusting," said Waipahu resident Ross Simeona.

Though he understands the substantial cost Haseko Homes has been faced with due to the illegal dumping, Simeona said it will be inconvenient for fishermen without the use of the dirt road. Simeona, who fishes at Hau Bush, said it will be difficult for those who do not own a four-wheel-drive vehicle to drive over the soft sand and dips along the shoreline.

Haseko Homes' 11,000-acre Ocean Pointe property abuts Oneula Beach Park. The company hired security guards to patrol the area 24 hours a day to deter illegal dumping. But because of the high expense, Haseko Homes limited security to daylight hours.

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