By AUDREY McAVOY, Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health said Tuesday it has fined the US Navy $8.8 million for repeatedly discharging untreated or partially treated sewage into state waters from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The department said in a news release that it recorded 766 counts of the Navy discharging pollutants in excess of limits established by a permit.
The pollutants were released between January 2020 and July 2022 from the Hawaii Wastewater Treatment Pant operated by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, the department said.
The agency also found 212 counts of operation and maintenance failures.
Navy Region Hawaii did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment.
“The Navy’s failure to properly operate and maintain this wastewater treatment plant led to the pollution of state waters,” said Kathleen Ho, the department’s deputy director of environmental health, in a statement. “We are taking action to protect our state’s water resources and to hold the Navy accountable to make critical repairs and prevent a potential catastrophic failure of the facility.”
Separately, the department earlier this ordered the Navy to shut down its Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility after jet fuel leaked from a pipe into the Navy’s drinking water at Pearl Harbor. The military has set up a task force to drain fuel from Red Hill’s massive storage tanks by July 2024.
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