News Column

BRIEF: Hawaii Gas fined $155,000 by EPA

June 11, 2014

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser



June 11--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Hawaii Gas$155,000 for violations of risk management plan regulations and chemical release reporting involving its Kapolei facility.

The fine represents a settlement between the EPA and the company.

The Kapolei facility manufactures synthetic natural gas for its Oahu customers and was found to be in violation during a January 2012 audit of five years' worth of records, according to an EPA statement.

Inspectors found that the facility released 3,585 pounds of sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda, or lye. While the release was reported to state and local officials, it was required to also have been reported to the federal National Response Center, since the amount exceeded 1,000 pounds.

No health or environmental impacts resulted from the release, made to an underground injection well, the EPA said.

"Risk management plans are critical components of safety programs designed to prevent chemical accidents," Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said in a statement. "They must be carried out diligently to protect workers, nearby residents and the local environment."

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Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)


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