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EPA orders Keehi Marine to reduce stormwater discharge pollution

Oct 01, 2018

By Nina Wu 

{A schooner is hauled out of the water for dry dock repairs at Keehi Marine Center in 2010. STAR-ADVERTISER / 2010}

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Keehi Marine Inc. to reduce pollution in its stormwater discharges to Keehi Lagoon by November, according to a news release today.

Following an EPA inspection on April 21, 2017, Keehi Marine Inc., which runs the Keehi Marine Center boatyard and marina, was found to be in non-compliance with numerous stormwater pollution prevention requirements. The EPA conducted the inspection after a public tip.

“Ship repair facilities must have stormwater pollution controls in place to protect coastal waters and coral reefs,” EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker said in the release. “We are pleased the company has already begun work to improve their operations and prevent pollution — actions that will help improve Oahu’s water quality.”

During the inspection, the EPA found that the Honolulu boatyard had no controls in place to prevent stormwater discharges and associated debris from flowing into Keehi Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean. Recent flooding at a covered work area also indicated pollutants had washed off-site.

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From September 2016 to December 2017, the facility reported five incidents in which stormwater monitoring results showed copper, lead and zinc were discharged above permit limits.

In addition, many industrial operations at the facility, such as material handling, storage and equipment maintenance and cleaning, occurred outside, according to the EPA, where rainfall runoff can potentially pick up pollutants and transport them directly to nearby waterways and degrade water quality.

Federal regulations require facilities to obtain discharge permits, implement stormwater best management practices and follow a stormwater pollution control plan.

By Nov. 30, Keehi Marine must ensure that discharges of copper, lead, zinc, and other pollutants meet the requirements of its state stormwater discharge permit. The Honolulu boatyard has also agreed to develop an updated stormwater pollution control plan, conduct additional sampling and monitoring, and submit a final report to EPA once all requirements of the administrative order have been completed.

If Keehi Marine does not meet these requirements in November, then the EPA could potentially fine the boatyard.

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