By Wendy Osher
Both Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company on Maui, and Monsanto Company on Molokaʻi were cited by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health Clean Air Branch after the agency received dust complaints, officials said.
The companies were among four in Maui County and nine across the state that were named in the latest round of citations issued for alleged violations by the DOH.
Both were cited for, “causing or permitting visible fugitive dust to become airborne without taking reasonable precautions,” according to a health department press release.
The DOH released information saying HC&S was also cited for, “agricultural burning permit violations.” Officials say HC&S was assessed and has since paid a $9,300 fine for the citation.
The violations were reportedly discovered after dust complaints were received and a DOH records review of the company’s permit.
HC&S is the state’s sole producer of raw and specialty sugar with an estimated 36,000 acres under cultivation.
The DOH also cited Monsanto for alleged violations in Kaunakakai on Molokaʻi where the company operates seed corn farms.
A penalty of $3,400 has been issued, but Monsanto has reportedly requested a hearing on the case.
Another Maui company cited by the DOH was Maui Landscape Specialty, Inc., which does business as Hawaiian Charcoal Company, and operates out of the old Waikapu landfill.
The DOH issued a $2,600 fine against the company after discovering the alleged violation during a records review. Hawaiian Charcoal has since requested a hearing in the case.
Also on Maui, Lili Laundry, Inc., which does business as Aliʻi Linen Services in Kahului, was cited for “submitting a late semi-annual report on its 100 horse power Superior Mohawk boiler.”
According to the DOH, the violation was discovered during a records review and a $2,000 penalty was assessed and has been paid.
Notices of violations and orders were also issued by the DOH against: Frank Coluccio Construction Company in Kapolei on Oʻahu; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. in Moanalua on Oʻahu; E.M. Rivera and Sons, Inc. in Kona on Hawaiʻi Island; Grace Pacific Corporation at Barber’s Point on Oʻahu; and Island Topsoil, LLC. in Waiʻanae on Oʻahu.
The violations were either self-reported or discovered during inspection or records review by the DOH.
According to DOH officials, penalties are generally assessed on violators “to remove any economic benefit they may have gained from their noncompliance and put them in a worse situation than those who comply with the law.”
Fines reportedly go into a revolving special fund and are used to prevent or minimize damage to the environment.