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Waste Management, Honolulu Settle with EPA on Landfill Violations

Waste Management Inc. and the city and county of Honolulu have settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding gas fire concerns at a landfill in Hawaii.

Waste Management of Hawaii Inc., a subsidiary of the Houston-based Waste Management, and the local government agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1.1 million and are being required to implement enhanced gas monitoring at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill in Kapolei, Oahu, to reduce the threat of underground fires at the landfill, according to a news release from the Washington-based EPA. Waste Management and Honolulu also agreed to follow fire response procedures in the event of a fire.

Waste Management estimates it has already spent about $1.5 million to design and construct a gas collection/control system required by federal law.
Waste Management operates the landfill and the city of Honolulu owns the facility, which violated air pollution laws.

“Our settlement helps reduce the risk of fire at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill, where gases reach temperatures that are among the highest for any landfill in the nation," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By bringing it into compliance with the Clean Air Act, we are protecting the community and the environment from exposure to toxic landfill gas.”

Waste Management of Hawaii said in a statement, “The alleged violations, which were self-reported by Waste Management in 2005, are based on missed regulatory deadlines from 2001 to 2004 involving certain reports, design plans, and late completion of a landfill gas collection and control system.  The settlement also addresses monitoring requirements concerning elevated gas temperatures within the landfill.  

“In 2005, Waste Management completed the installation of the landfill’s gas collection and control system.  Since then it has been carefully monitoring the elevated gas temperatures within the landfill and will implement an enhanced monitoring and contingency plan as part of the settlement. “

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