County of Kaua‘i Cited by Health Department for Discharge of Sediment into State Waters

The Hawai‘i Department of Health has issued a Notice of Violation and Order to the County of Kaua‘i Department of Public Works for allegedly initiating construction activity over one acre without required permits.

The DOH states that the required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit was not obtained and alleges the discharge of sediment into state waters on three separate occasions.

The department said the period of unpermitted construction activities occurred between Jan. 6 to July 24, 2020.

According to a press release issued by the DOH, the County of Kaua‘i Department of Public Works personnel conducted earth disturbing construction activities on 43 acres along Kaumualiʻi Highway in Waimea.

“While conducting the grubbing and grading without a permit, the county failed to implement any pollution preventing best management practices that the permit requires to prevent polluted discharges. During that span, there were rain events on three separate occasions that resulted in discharges of sediment to the drainage ditches, which ultimately flow into nearshore waters,” according to the DOH.

This is the second notice issued in the past four years against the county for water pollution related violations.   

“DOH permits are in place to protect human and environmental health,” said Keith Kawaoka, Deputy Director of Heath.  “Whether you’re a county department or a private business, you must obtain and comply with environmental permits as law requires.”  

The order requires the county to comply with a recently obtained NPDES permit, conduct environmental training, and pay a monetary penalty of $36,500.

The County of Kaua‘i may contest the order within 20 days of service and request a hearing. 

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