Several Hawaii businesses fined more than $300K for failing to c - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Several Hawaii businesses fined more than $300K for failing to close large capacity cesspools

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Several businesses in Hawaii have been fined a combined total of more than $300,000 for failing to close their large capacity cesspools that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said can pollute groundwater and nearshore waters where people swim.

 According to the EPA, Travaasa Hotel Hana Resort on Maui will pay $187,500, while Vacation Inns International on Oahu will pay $40,000. Shaka’s, a nightclub on the Big Island, will pay $82,425.

“Cesspools, which are used more widely in Hawaii than any other state, discharge raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean,” the EPA said in a statement.

The Travaasa voluntarily closed a number of its cesspools over the last three years, the EPA said, and committed to closing its remaining 14 large capacity cesspools within the next two years. Both Travaasa and Vacation Inns said their cesspools will be replaced with state-approved septic systems.

Shaka’s has closed one cesspool and will close its remaining cesspool.

The EPA has also filed a civil complaint against landowner Keith Ward for operating two illegal cesspools that serve Serg’s Mexican Kitchen in Waimanalo. Ward allegedly refused to submit proof of closing the cesspools that provide service to the restaurant.

More than 3,000 large capacity cesspools have been closed throughout the state since the ban was instituted in 2005. Large capacity cesspools include those that discharge untreated sewage from multiple residential dwellings and from non-residential locations that have the capacity to serve 20 ore more people per day.

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