HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Exactly two years ago Wednesday, a massive molasses spill at Honolulu Harbor that killed thousands of fish and damaged coral colonies for decades occurred at the Honolulu Harbor, and the state has imposed stricter rules and reporting policies for harbor tenants to make sure nothing like that ever happens again.
Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara said pipeline operators and owners are required to have inspection and spill response plans. The inspection plan includes conducting inspections, maintaining and testing pipelines and related facilities. The spill response plan includes how to properly and effectively manage any accidental discharges.
Operators and owners are also required to submit annual certifications of pipeline inspections, Sakahara added.
The September 2013 spill occurred when a California-bound Matson container ship was being loaded with 1,600 tons of molasses. But a faulty pipeline discharged 233,000 gallons into the water, killing at least 25,000 fish and causing irreparable damage to coral.
In July, Matson announced a $15.4 million settlement to the state of Hawaii. The agreement includes $5.9 million of the total to be used to reimburse the state for expenses, contribute to a huge conservation event in Hawaii next year and re-growing a coral nursery. The new coral nursery will help replace the coral that was damaged as a result of the spill.