State investigates massive car graveyard in Waialua

State investigates massive car graveyard in Waialua
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

WAIALUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State Health Department officials are investigating a massive, car graveyard on a 17-acre parcel in Waialua.

A team from the state Health Department's Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch inspected the property last week, though it's unclear what they found or when their investigation will wrap up.

Environmentalist Carroll Cox says the biggest concern is that cars, tires and 50-gallon drums stored on the property could be leeching hazardous materials into the soil and polluting the water table.

"They would be counting the number of cars. They would be looking for removal of dirt and digging and where there has been possibly burying. The containment of barrels of oil  or fluid or liquids," he said.

Back in March, drone video showed the scope of the car graveyard, and spurred officials to conclude it's likely the largest alleged illegal dump sites in the state.

On Tuesday, David Kromer's junkyard was sprawling in all directions. Kromer, who leases the land, was nowhere to be found.

Neighbors estimate the auto graveyard has grown by at least 30 percent in recent months. Hawaii News Now spots dozens of additional vehicles, box trucks and heavy equipment haphazardly parked on the hillside.

"There's at least 10 new cars a day on average being brought here. What are they doing with them?  I don't know," said Jack Reid, who's on the North Shore Neighborhood Board.

Cox says the old cars and other parts on the property also pose a run-off threat to Kaukonahua Stream, which subsequently goes to Kaiaka State Park.

Meanwhile, the owner of the property apparently lives out of country and has hired attorneys to help evict Kromer.

Previously, Kromer told Hawaii News Now he's doing nothing wrong and plans to farm on the land and raise horses for his carriages.

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