Violations at Hawaiian landfill addressed

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an order to the city and county of Honolulu and Waste Management, Inc., to take immediate steps to address stormwater violations at the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill on Oahu.

EPA’s ongoing review of operations at the landfill revealed violations of the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit regulating stormwater discharges from the landfill.

EPA found the city and Waste Management failed to comply with the requirements of the state of Hawaii’s NPDES stormwater general permit on at least three occasions associated with storm events in December 2010 and January 2011. The order cites failure to:

  • Prevent runoff of surface water that had come into contact with waste.
  • Control erosion to prevent loss of landfill cover or washout of refuse slopes.
  • Properly manage leachate.
  • Retain and remove silt from surface water before discharge.

Waste Management is the contractor operating the landfill. In December 2010 and January 2011, rains caused flooding which allowed waste to be released, resulting in beach contamination and beach closures.