EPA Files Complaint Against Mauna Loa for Failing to Close Cesspools

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed a complaint against Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. for failing to close its three large capacity cesspools by its deadline.

Mauna Loa owns and operates a macadamia nut processing plant and a visitor center at its Hilo facility on the Big Island.

The EPA notified the company in July 2004 of the April 2005 deadline to close its large
capacity cesspools.

An EPA contractor inspected the facility in October 2005 and was told closure plans were being developed.

In August 2006, the EPA inspected the facility again and found the three large capacity
cesspools were still in use.

"EPA remains committed to ensuring proper closure of large capacity cesspools to protect Hawaii's water resources," said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA's water division for the Pacific Southwest region. "While we continue to pursue violators, it is unfortunate that companies
such as Mauna Loa require this level of oversight to fully comply with EPA's regulations."

The company could face a penalty of up to $157,500 for failing to close its cesspools by April 2005.