EPA Proposes Upgrade at Honouliuli Sewage Plant

EWA (KHNL) - A wastewater treatment plant on Leeward Oahu doesn't meet water quality standards.

That's what the Environmental Protection Agency is saying about the Honouliuli Plant in Ewa.

The EPA is proposing the City and County of Honolulu upgrade the plant to meet full, secondary treatment requirements that would remove more bacteria.

The treated sewage is released more than 8,000 feet offshore and 200 feet below the ocean's surface.

"There are some water quality issues that's not meeting water quality standards and other issues," said Dean Higuchi, EPA spokesperson.

But Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann disagrees and says he's extremely disappointed with this proposal.

"No one swims near any of the discharge points. There is no danger to any of the marine life where there's discharge and our water isn't impacted at all," said Hannemann.

He says upgrading the Ewa facility will cost $400 million. He believes there's no scientific evidence that supports an upgrade is needed. EPA officials say this tentative decision to upgrade the plant will help preserve marine life.

A public hearing on this tentative decision will be held on May 15 at Kapolei Middle School. The EPA will make a final decision a short time later, possibly in June.