The EPA said in a news release on its order that the city and Waste Management failed to comply with the state’s general stormwater permit with regard to preventing runoff of surface water that came into contact with waste; control erosion to prevent loss of landfill cover or washout of refuse slopes; properly manage leachate; and retain and remove silt from surface water before it was discharged from the site.
The actions violate the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit regulating stormwater discharges from the landfill.
Waste Management operates the landfill for the city and county of Honolulu. In December 2010 and January 2011, rains caused flooding at the landfill. A section of the landfill was flooded with stormwater, causing waste to be released, which resulted in beach contamination and closures.
Waste Management completed the EPA’s previous order after the event, which addressed the response and cleanup measures that were immediately needed to stabilize the landfill’s structure and stormwater controls.
The new order requires completion of a project to completely separate stormwater generated outside of the landfill from stormwater generated at the landfill, among other measures.