Investigation into unauthorized storage on land leased by city

Honolulu mayor Peter Carlisle
Honolulu mayor Peter Carlisle

WAIPIO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Authorities are investigating to see if there are any criminal or civil violations after the discovery of items being stored without permission on land the city is leasing from the Navy near the Waipio Soccer Complex. Honolulu mayor Peter Carlisle said the problem came to light in September when a city employee reported seeing trucks in an area that is off-limits to the public.

The city estimates the parcel is seven to ten acres. Authorities believe the problem has been going on for years since kiawe trees and brush were cleared away. The city already cleaned up items like tires, broken playground equipment, rebar, scrap metal, refrigerators and stoves. There are also stockpiled materials like soil, rocks, sand and asphalt concrete. Carlisle said city government and private sector people who were using the site were told to stop. The city has launched an internal investigation and HPD has been notified.

"It's obviously been going on for years so it obviously needs to be stopped. We need to figure out how much of this was wrong and how much of it was essentially - the question is, is it criminal? Is it civil? How far up does it go?" said Carlisle.

Carlisle said some of the material came from city projects. He said based on discussions with the city's environmental consultant and engineers, there is no evidence to suggest this should affect the use of the Waipio soccer fields.

The city said it has notified the Department of Health and it's working with the Navy. An environmental consultant has also been hired to sample and analyze the materials. According to the city, the Department of Parks and Recreation is in charge of enforcing rules and regulations in that area.

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