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Paradise Beverages completes upgrades to protect water resources following DOH fine

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Paradise Beverages, a major statewide beverage distributor, has added operational and process improvements to its existing catchment system and can-crushing procedures to protect water resources and prevent future potential impacts related to unintended discharges from its operations.

The company received a Notice of Violation Order with a $75,000 penalty from the Hawai‘i Department of Health for an incident involving the alleged overflow of beer into storm drains and the Waiawa Stream near its O‘ahu warehouse in Waipiʻo.  

“Paradise Beverages’ actions made headlines around the country and serve as yet another reminder of the threats to Hawaiʻi’s environment,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho in a department press release. “DOH will continue to take action to protect public health and our natural resources.”

“We appreciate the daily communications and guidance from the Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch and the City and County of Honolulu’s teams since Nov. 10 to bring this incident to a close,” said John Erickson, President and General Manager of Paradise Beverages. “Being 100% compliant with all applicable laws and regulations is a priority for us. We identified specific areas to improve, and many of these have already been completed or we are in the process of planning their implementation to ensure we operate in an environmentally responsible manner.”

The core business of Paradise Beverages is the distribution of canned or bottled beverages. The company reports that only a small percentage of the products are not suitable for sale. Beverage cans and bottles not suitable for sale are set aside and mechanically crushed periodically and the resulting liquid is collected for disposal. This process had been suspended to ensure that no discharge will reach the storm drain system. Paradise Beverages has also provided blueprints of its pipeline system at the warehouse to the health department to ensure there is no possibility of cross contamination between sewage and storm systems.

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To further ensure protection of water resources, Paradise Beverages reports it will resume the crushing operation only after appropriate systems are in place. The company is currently developing engineering plans that it says will exceed the Department of Health requirements by installing two-tiers of impervious containment instead of one.

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In the meantime, Paradise Beverages has been collaborating with local farmers to safely dispose of the product, creating a value-added component to support local agriculture. Paradise Beverages’ four neighbor island warehouses do not engage in similar crushing operations.

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