Residents to get updates on Kapolei tainted soil investigation

Published: Jul. 16, 2014 at 9:59 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 17, 2014 at 4:01 AM HST
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KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kapolei residents will get some answers on how truckloads of contaminated dirt from Radford High School wound up in their neighborhood.

State investigators told Hawaii News Now that they found high levels of lead and arsenic in the up to 50 tons of soil dumped next to D.R. Horton's Mehana residential project.

"It should have never happened. This begs of stronger, stricter rules in the trucking and handling of soils and contaminants," said environmental activist Carroll Cox.

The Department of Education said several of its trucking companies moved the dirt from Radford High School's track last year.

That was before it knew the track was built on top of an old Navy landfill and contained contaminated soils, the DOE said.

"The illicit activity occurred without D.R. Horton's knowledge, authorization, or consent," the developer said in a note to its residents.

D.R. Horton executive said it's taken steps to ensure the tainted dirt doesn't impact the environment. Plastic sheeting now covers the soil to protect it from wind and from mixing with ground water.

The storage site is about half a mile away from where the nearest homes will be built, the company said.

State Health inspectors are still testing the soils and could come up with a remediation plan soon.

It also may take action against the trucking companies that brought the soil in. They could face fines of up to $10,000 per day per violation.

The developer will hold a public meeting at the Island Pacific Academy tomorrow night, where state officials will be on hand to answer questions.

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