Jun 26, 2009

U.S. EPA Orders Hawaii DOT to Protect Coastal Waters

Harbors Div. must revise two storm water management plans by December 2009

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently ordered the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Harbors Div. to comply with federal Clean Water Act storm water regulations at the Honolulu and Kalaeloa-Barbers Point harbors on Oahu.Fuel, oil and debris carried by storm water from the Harbor Div. and tenant facilities discharge directly into harbor waters and through municipal storm drains running to harbor waters.“We’ve identified many storm water permit violations and compliance issues to be resolved to protect Oahu’s coastal waters,” said Alexis Strauss, Water Div. director in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We’ll oversee HDOT as they take these actions under this order and ensure we have stronger public health and environmental protections in place.”In December, the EPA and state Department of Health inspectors conducted audits at Honolulu and Kalaeloa-Barbers Point harbors, and the EPA found that HDOT Harbors Div. failed to develop, implement and enforce:&#149 An effective program to detect and eliminate illicit discharges and illegal connections, including failure to compile a list of non-storm water discharges, detect and identify dry-weather flows and ensure tenants implement controls;&#149 An adequate program to reduce pollutants from construction sites, including failure to implement appropriate erosion and sediment control best management practices; establish rules, ordinances and other regulatory mechanisms that require erosion and sediment controls at construction sites; ensure that construction site operators control waste; and implement an inspection and enforcement program for control measures at construction sites; and&#149 An adequate program for post-construction runoff from new development and redevelopment projects, including failure to implement structural and nonstructural controls to minimize water quality impacts and maintain predevelopment runoff conditions, as well as to create enforcement procedures for the long-term operation and maintenance of measures to reduce pollutants.The order requires the HDOT Harbors Div. to revise its storm water management plans for both harbors by December 2009 and submit the revised plans by the end of January 2010.The order also requires HDOT Harbors Div. to:&#149 Develop and implement a tenant inspection and enforcement program and conduct inspections annually at all commercial/industrial tenant facilities beginning January 2010;&#149 Use the tenant inspection and enforcement program to detect and eliminate illicit discharges into the harbor storm water systems;&#149 Develop and implement a program to control construction site runoff, including inspections of third-party constructions projects at the harbors;&#149 Develop and implement a post-construction storm water management program for areas of new development and significant redevelopment;&#149 Revise the pollution prevention/good housekeeping program to include a program of scheduled inspections and preventive debris removal from its storm water system; and&#149 Develop and implement an erosion and sediment control plan to manage the existing dredged materials at Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor, as well as for future dredge spoil stockpiles, if any, to prevent both wind- and water-caused erosion of the stockpiled materials.For more information and to view the order, visit www.epa.gov/region09/water/ports/#hdot.