Maui News

Hawaii Companies Cited for Air Permit Violations

February 17, 2011, 9:15 AM HST
* Updated February 18, 7:16 AM
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By Wendy Osher

File photo by Wendy Osher.

The state Department of Health (DOH) issued citations against the Hawaiian Electric Light Company and the City and County of Honolulu for air permit violations.

Air permits are issued through the DOH Clean Air Branch to minimize air pollution impacts on the public. The permit process is designed to ensure continued compliance with state and federal emission standards.

The Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc., (Keahole Generating Station) was issued a Notice of Violation for exceeding opacity limits at it’s CT-4 combustion turbine generating unit.   DOH officials say the unit exceeded a 20% limit on four occasions over a one year span; and violated a 60% opacity limit twice.   The Keahole Generating Station also reportedly failed file a report documenting the various opacity deviations within the required five working day time frame.

Keahole Generating Station is an electric utility located on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, in Kailua-Kona. A penalty of $29,300 has since been paid for the violations.

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The City and County of Honolulu, Sand Island (Synagro) was also cited for failing to operate continuously a waste gas burner for five days in 2010.  The violations were discovered during an annual inspection. A penalty of $14,000 was imposed for the violations.

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In general, penalties are assessed on violators to remove any economic benefit that companies may have gained from noncompliance.  Both parties have the right to request a hearing to contest the DOH orders.

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