Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp Fined $75,000

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation $75,000 for failing to close three large capacity cesspools by a regulatory deadline.

Mauna Loa owned and operated a macadamia nut processing plant and a visitor center in Hilo.

EPA officials say the company was notified in July 2004 to close its large capacity cesspools by April 2005.

In August 2007, work to close and replace its large capacity cesspools with a state-approved wastewater system was completed.

A large capacity cesspool discharges untreated sewage from multiple dwellings that serves 20 or more people per day.

Mauna Loa's wastewater facility serves more than 1,000 people a day.

EPA officials say cesspools discharge raw sewage into the ground, which results in disease-causing pathogens and other contaminants that could pollute groundwater, streams and the ocean.