City pays
illegal-dump fine

A settlement resolves a state
complaint over rules violations
at the site found in Waipahu

The City Council agreed this week to pay a $542,459 fine levied against the city by the state Health Department because of an illegal dump site discovered in Waipahu last year.

The city will settle the fine through a payment of $425,000 to the state environmental revolving fund, which is used to clean up solid- and hazardous-waste sites.

The city will also assist the state during the next four years with $117,000 worth of in-kind services that include providing manpower and equipment for environmental cleanups.

After the state announced the fine last year, the city appealed, and both sides had been in negotiations to settle the amount.

The Council voted Wednesday to accept the city attorneys' recommendations that it "is in the best interest of the city to settle this complaint," according to a committee report.

The state fined the city for violating solid- and hazardous-waste rules at the now-closed Waipahu incinerator and ash landfill.

According to an internal city investigation, refuse disposal facility superintendent Peter Kealoha Jr. allegedly ordered city employees to crush and bury 214 tons of scrapped household appliances at the incinerator site in early 2001.

The investigation also found that city employees under his directive stockpiled 6,000 empty propane tanks at the Waipahu site and buried hazardous bricks and ash in a closed ash landfill.

Kealoha retired from the city in June 2003.

In October the state attorney general's announced that it charged Kealoha with 24 counts of disposing of solid waste without a permit.

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